Living Ghosts

The Thought Of Giving Up EP

Written by: TL on 13/01/2014 23:05:27

An EP called "The Thought Of Giving Up" by a band called Living Ghosts? Would you be surprised if I asked you to prepare for a release that sort of likes to wallow? What if the band's facebook description says "songs about a heart still breaking"? Or how about some lyrics that go "I guess I'll/ just pack my bags/ and move to the east coast/ maybe you'll notice /but I know you won't". Yeah the EP by this rather small California quartet is pretty 'mo, sounding roughly like a younger version of a band like Seahaven, except with added throat-scraping screams in the veins of a La Dispute or Touché Amore and an overall tone that's also morose in a way that's similar to these bands. As it turns out, the band used to also have a female vocalist and meant to write about a fictional relationship that was turning bad, yet the two singers ended up broken up, leaving the male singer alone to base "The Thought Of Giving Up" on his all too real experiences.

Apart from its very youthful, weepy tone however, what's just as interesting about "The Thought Of Giving Up", is that despite its six tracks clocking in at barely over eleven short minutes, it has displays of movement and creativity in promising amounts across its limited set of ideas. Keys give way to noodling guitar notes on post-rock-ish intro "Like The Sea" before "Arrows" come crashing in like a "Touché Amore-core" song, before twisting into what sounds like a pop-punk melody, only coated in "wave core" production and layered with screams. At two minutes the song has at least four distinct sections, before "Falling Apart" takes over as mid-tempo skramz before leading into a muted strum with some semi-gasped cleans that mark my Seahaven reference, while toying with slightly auto-tuned echoes in the background and female guest vocals from one Jazzmine Brazil in the end.

If I'm honest, I consider it sort of ballsy to stick it to conventional songstructure like Living Ghosts do here, seemingly completely confident that the sheer dynamics between their various super-emo parts are enough to make them memorable. You thought you were due a couple of verses, a bridge and a triplet of choruses? Jokes on you then, especially because Living Ghosts manner to deliver hooks regardless that can start to prick at your awareness even on first listen. The result is that "The Thought Of Giving Up", at just those eleven short minutes, still sends you off with the extremely bare-bones anthemics of "Giving Up" making you feel like you've journeyed through something not unlike an album, and while you can sit through it in less than a quarter, I think it's interesting enough to make you wonder if it would be even better spending even more time among the Living Ghosts.


Download: Arrows, Falling Apart
For The Fans Of: Something at the bottom of a line-up beneath Seahaven and La Dispute

Release Date 01.01.2014

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