From the moment the song So Sick from UK rock band Ghost Of The Highway, was submitted to and heard on The Reputation Radio Show, a review of the forthcoming mini album it came from was a must. When the track was recently broadcast the eager acclaim towards its vibrant and powerful sounds by the audience of the show was expressive and full, something the band will surely become used to with the release of their impressive album on September 1st.
From Guildford, Ghost Of The Highway consists of vocalist and guitarist Jon Lett (The Black Zetas, Calico), bassist Jack Williams, and Jack Summerfield on drums. The band began in 2010 when Lett met Summerfield in a bar. Drinks, reflections of the state of local music with probably more drinks in tow, led to the linking of their musical creativity. Working hard on songs and going through a pair of bassists, the band released the demo Hope and Other Four Letter Words through bedroom label Specky Records the following year. It was well received drawing much acclaim to its heavy rock energies and sounds. Later in the year Williams was recruited and now stable the band entered the studio with producer Paul Frost to work on the album. Earlier this year saw the release of previously mentioned single So Sick, it again pulling in nothing but great and enthused responses.
The song opens up the album and instantly has the word infectious at the ready for its excited and greedy hooks and melodic enterprise. The guitars electrify the air initially with a blistering scuzzy energy whilst larger melodic strokes flash within its bristling presence. In full flow the song is soon offering intensive rhythms and a great bass prowling from Williams whilst the vocals of Letts, also with that distorted tinge to their breath, impress. The track is aggressive without resorting to force or being over demanding, its energy and appetite enough to stir up the senses. The band comes from the home of the Reuben and though Ghost Of The Highway do not quite have the intensity they hold the same ability to create compelling and addictive riffs and hooks as that great band.
The following Preacherman starts with a gently caressing melodic whisper of guitar and voice before the song unleashes a punk rock lined piece of rock n roll. The song is excellent though slightly frustrating as at times it feels like it wants to explode into an unbridled storm but to be fair if it had gone that way it is doubtful the well crafted and defined song would have worked quite as well. Not for the first time the band have a Green Day feel about their sound which though an easy comparison is accurate.
The steely Vultures is an outstanding piece of rock music with a seventies garage blues gait alongside its melodic pulse whilst the bass of Williams has a vibrant yet niggled sound, his lines gnawing on the ear wonderfully. With its slight stoner air too, the track is a thrilling contagion showing a wider variation to the music of the band.
Punk spices the excellent Second Rate next, another song which like the opener hits all the right buttons to have senses, limbs, and heart rate in active accompaniment. There is an underlying grunge flavour to add extra texture to the song and once more Ghost Of The Highway shows its ammunition is diverse and potent.
The last pair of songs ensure the album maintains its high levels to the very end, March Of The Pigs and Another Pretty Boy leaving only pure satisfaction behind. The first again finds the band with an American Idiot era Green Day lilt to its inciteful heart whilst the closing second single from the release opens like a sensitive crystalline ballad. Of course the band cannot maintain their restraint and the song soon steps into a slice of emotive catchiness which excites the ear and warms the senses.
With their self titled album, Ghost Of The Highway step forward to show themselves as one of the more inventive and inspiring bands in UK rock music right now and one who all should get to know in September.
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