The Ghost Inside
Right back at it again with the production A-Team of A Day To Remember’s Jeremy McKinnon and Andrew Wade, the Ghost Inside deliver a concept album on Dear Youth. TGI are still your gym buddy, though: The verses are venomous and the breakdowns are more or less unchanged.“Mercy” finds frontman Jonathan Vigil bellowing, “For whom the bell tolls!” and us thinking, “Hemingway never sounded this hardcore.” While the setups are on point (as another mosh call steams, “Life's swinging hard/But I’m swinging harder”), their pummeling side remains one-dimensional. What they have changed is cause for concern. Vigil’s vocal horsepower numbs their most melodic choruses on their most pop-structured album. Only sporadic gang vocals, “whoa-oh”s and backups aid the transition. Jason Aalon Butler of letlive. crashes “Wide Eyed,” and it’s easily the best guest spot of 2014. Soon after, the title track declares the album’s battle cry, and two demolition derbies keep the heart rate high. “My Endnote” feeds our lizard brains with a false fade-out of feedback, and Vigil hyping the ensuing happy ending for hardcore kids. Dear Youth is a one-size-fits-all hardcore album, one that will lead many fresh faces through the door but leave returners looking for more.