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Album Review: Living Like Ghosts - Treading Water‏

Living Like Ghosts has been around for just over a year, and have already had a slight line-up change and released two EP’s. They have also released 2010’s best band related prank, serving up a hilarious fuck you to the rise of crunkcore and neon scenester bands (check their website, even if you don’t end up liking their music). If that won’t automatically endear the listener to them the fact that their most recent offering, 'Treading Water' is a decent collection of tunes should help some.

Introductory track “Disconnect” starts with vocalist Jeremy Johnson softly lamenting how far he has come, before the music cuts and he screams to kick off the actual song. Johnson’s scream is the only real one he performs on the EP, and that is a good thing, as that brief moment is jarring and slightly off putting. Once that awkward moment is over the guitar slams in heavily and it becomes evident that Living Like Ghosts is a slightly hard sound to define. Not because they are overly unique but because it straddles the line between two genres while never really committing. They are certainly not the ‘pop punk’ they are labelled on their various websites, but not as heavy as influences Thrice and Alexisonfire.

Catacomb” begins slowly but doesn’t take long to pick up the pace. The guitars and drums really come into their own here, the drums especially forming a strong spine for the two guitars to riff off each other with. Lots of mini fills and a fast pace make the percussion the star of this track. “Lighthouse” takes things in a bit of a heavier direction, featuring more gang vocals and a few screams, but thankfully they do not sound as out of place as they do in the first track. “Accolade” closes the EP and is the strongest track, especially for Johnson’s vocals and the guitarists. The chorus lets Johnson show off the more elastic side of his voice, and the following verses show he has a fairly good upper range as well. The guitar work during the verses certainly keeps the song from feeling formulaic, as there is always a new riff coming through. It is here in the verses that the bass guitar is most notable as well, bringing a fuller sound about.

The only complaint about 'Treading Water' is that it doesn’t push far enough in any of the directions it wants to go. It seems like it is a little too shy to go that step heavier, which is where its sound seems to be taking it. Not that pop punk isn’t a credible genre to want to commit to, far from it, it just sounds like Living Like Ghosts do not particularly belong there. People should keep their eyes on them as they are highly capable of sealing a record deal and making a debut album to watch for.


'Treading Water‏' by Living Like Ghosts is available as a free download here.

Living Like Ghosts on MySpace.

Jamie Kirk

Alter The Press!