October 25, 2011 - Equal Vision
During Therefore I Am’s brief but blazing existence, guitarist Travis Alexander helped build a brick wall of defensive belligerence. On Get Miserable, the debut EP by his new group Ghost Thrower, he started dismantling that wall. On the band’s second EP, …Has A One That Got Away, he’s stopped kicking and started sifting through the rubble. Opener “It’s The Way You Play The Game” churns and broods for six agonizing minutes, a masochistically probed broken tooth of a song that recalls Fugazi’s “Blueprint” in its seething, contorted tautness. From there, Alexander’s angst accelerates—but he’s still trying to put together the pieces he’d previously torn apart, like on “Go Slower,” which pits mid-tempo, minor-key punk against a La Dispute-like chorus. Gone is Therefore I Am’s chunky, occasionally cryptic post-hardcore; in its place pours avalanches of open chords and catharsis like closer “A Kind Woman Lives Here (A Pitiful Story).” Get Miserable may have been Ghost Thrower’s statement of intent, but …Has A One That Got Away is Alexander’s intimate, nuanced, yet no less forceful confessional.