Our Last Night

The Ghosts Among Us

Written by: PP on 12/03/2008 04:44:45

A lot of my reviews of young, up and coming bands make predictions about what might happen to them in the space of few years following their debut release. Lets be honest, most of the remarks I make are completely baseless and pure guesswork at the best. Nonetheless, there are moments where the future shapes to be exactly that which I paint for the band, and sometimes overwhelmingly so, as is the case with the New Hampshire based emo/screamo hybrid Our Last Night (yeah, that band which had the 11 year old screamer on their debut EP). Two and a half years after my review, the band has reached album number two, and in the process got themselves signed by Epitaph, one of the biggest independent labels around, just as I predicted in my original review.

What\'s more, the band seems to have listened to every word of my advice on \"The Ghosts Among Us\". They\'ve dropped the trendy (and useless) breakdown-infused hardcore that plagued some songs on their debut. Instead, they\'ve focused on the post-hardcore/screamo side of things. You know the drill, slick scale-based guitar drills flying high on the background, clean/screamo vocal dynamics, and the simplistic, but commanding drum patterns.

The vocal work has improved, too, at least on a technical level. Trevor Wentworth\'s scream has gained much more volume and thickness, now drawing parallels to the in-your-face screams by Silverstein\'s Shane Told. As a result of his new-found confidence, there\'s a lot more screaming on the record and a lot fewer clean harmonies. This is a shame, because the majority of the time Wentworth spends screaming, the band comes across as a textbook definition for generic post-hardcore, while during the clean harmonies the band (still) shows some great potential.

The biggest let down of \"The Ghosts Among Us\", however, is the deterioration of understanding what does and does not make a good song, which was already slightly evident in the progression from their EP to their debut. Aside from maybe \"Symptoms Of A Failing System\", \"Running The Clocks\" and \"Recovery\", the album is full of completely forgettable songs that fail to make an impression. There aren\'t enough catchy hooks, memorable choruses or immensely well written breakdowns like on \"The Truth We Can\'t Handle\", a song which has taken an almost seminal status in the minds of those who are familiar with it.

In the long run, \"The Ghosts Among Us\" will fail to behold its place in constant rotation in most people\'s play lists because in many places, the album feels as forced and tired as the latest Silverstein release, only without the occasionally bright vocal harmony to rescue the album. It belongs to that gray mass of albums that you occasionally hear about, but never really intentionally seek. As soon as Our Last Night returns to the sound of their debut EP, they will be massive, but until then, they will have to do with an average mark.

Download: Recovery, Symptoms Of A Failing System
For the fans of: Silverstein, Greeley Estates
Listen: Myspace
Buy: iTunes

Release date 04.03.2008

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