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I'd hazard a guess that about fifty percent of people hearing this debut album from London-based band The Ghosts will instantly fall for its accessible pop allure and clean production, whereas the rest will find their brand of radio-ready indie a touch cloying and over commercial. Both camps have a good case to argue too. The opening duo of singles 'Ghosts' and 'Enough Time' are polished synth-rock that would be comfortable rubbing shoulders with, say, Two Door Cinema Club or Everything Everything. Their ear for a melody is never in question, but what they do with it probably will be.
Much of 'The End' has a post-Britpop air about it, the sound of the late 90s when the stragglers had faded away and record companies tidied up the sound to make it more marketable. It's not a surprise to learn that the core of the band were introduced by The Charlatans' Jon Brookes; it's also handy that Garbage are back, as The Ghosts would be ideal for a support slot. Your view of this album will largely depend on your view of those bands. Cringing? Maybe give this a miss. A fan? You could be quids in.
This is a solid album and there's not really any filler, and at its high points it recalls Sumner & Marr's Electronic (another split decision on that band, no doubt) and 'Company Like Yours' and end track 'Unless', with their maudlin tunes and sentimental lyrics, are unashamedly irresistible. You can't criticise The Ghosts for borrowing from the past, most of the guitar world are at it, but it's lo-fi that rules the airwaves, and in that respect it's refreshing to hear a distortion free album of indie/pop tunes that aren't totally overcooked. My hunch is that the fifty percent who dismiss The Ghosts instantly probably won't live to regret it, but they will be missing out on some deliciously catchy pop tunes.
The Ghosts' website
Buy the album
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