A horrible hack

Living Ghosts

The Thought of Giving Up

Year Released: 2014
Format: Download
Label: self released
Reviewed by Rob Mair on Jan 29, 2014
Californian upstarts Living Ghosts’ last EP, ‘Forever & A Day’ was a fantastic slice of talky post-hardcore/emo, recalling Listener on their quieter ‘Wooden Heart’ moments – except perhaps even more literal, with sparse musical accompaniment and dense, emotionally focused lyrics.

And, initially things start off on a similar vein on ‘The Thought of Giving Up’. Opener ‘Like the Sea’ is a largely orchestral affair, with buried, hushed vocals and the odd, striking guitar line adding texture while a plodding, pounding drumbeat keeps things ticking along nicely. However, it does little to prepare you for ‘Arrows’ which hits with some so-so half-screamed, half spoken vocals. It’s a real shock to the system, and not necessarily a great one.

However, once things settle down, the quality returns, and when melody is added you can really see what these guys are striving for as they combine post-hardcore, spoken-word interludes and blasts of melody with reckless, and sometimes exciting, abandon. Consequently, when these guys hit their stride (‘Falling Apart’ and ‘Miles Away’ in particular are really great) you can feel there’s something about Living Ghosts that sets them apart. And, considering the evolution between this and ‘Forever & A Day’, I’m intrigued to see where they will go next.

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