There’s been a lot of hype around Holy Ghost. So I decided to give the record a spin. I mean, I live in Philadelphia now, so it only makes sense to keep up with the local scene.
I love that this is a true Side A/Side B record, with the first half of the record having been written by guitarist Jake Ewald and the second half by Brendan Lukens. And that information is good to have before diving into Holy Ghost. Because without it, the album seems disjointed and cohesive. But knowing that the album is literally spit in two gives it some perspective and makes the two sides more interesting.
The album’s opener/intro and title track, Holy Ghost, doesn’t really carry a lot of weight for me. I wish it was a little more fleshed out. As it stands, it really just serves as an intro into Wedding Singer and the actual start of the record. Wedding Singer I love! A stellar punk track that reminds me of Through Being Cool era Saves the Day. Most of Holy Ghost actually reminds me of that era of punk rock. Wedding Singer into Note To Self is my favorite moment on Holy Ghost. Note To Self is less fast paced punk and probably falls into the “emo” category, but it’s also the best hook on the record. Mass is a fun song in spirit but a smack of reality lyrically. Anyone who’s toured and been in love can relate to the lyrics of wanting to just be home and feeling like you’re missing out. Everyday is the mellowest track on the record and its emo perfection. The falsetto vocals at the ends of the first two verses is a nice touch. Hiding winds things down even more. It’s a slow progression to this point and the song goes from super chill to power ballad.
Side B of the record gets back to being super punk. Coding These To Lukens has a nice little mathy riff before the song kicks into high gear. Breathing In Stereo and What If are super pop punk tracks and remind me of Saves the Day more than any other tracks on the record. Apple Cider, I Don’t Mind has a pseudo 80’s new wave vibe thing going on. Just Another Face closes the album and it’s one of those moments where you feel like the band saved the best for last. It’s an excellent rock song and it kind of makes me wish the record had been more like this track.
Holy Ghost clocks in at 28 minutes, so it’s a quick listen. There are some great songs on Holy Ghost and some good songs. The only song that doesn’t ring a bell with me is the opening title track. But it did take me 6+ listens to really get in to Holy Ghost. I’m glad I kept going back to the record because there are some great tracks on Holy Ghost and knowing that there’s an A/B split helps gives the record some perspective. 4 out of 5 Stars.