The Pitch: Great American Ghost follows up their righteous 2015 album Everyone Leaves, with one of my most anticipated hardcore albums of the year. Can they live up to my expectations? FFO: Every Time I Die, The Armed, Kennedy
What I Like: This is a band that initially drew me in based on the pure, unfiltered bile they spit into the recording space. Great American Ghost's lyrics are like Every Time I Die minus the tongue-in-cheek humor. They have the same razor-sharp edge and penetrative impact, but completely devoid of empathy. Every word and every crunching guitar chord feels like a personal attack right in your stupid, utterly confused face. As such, the title of this new album pretty much sums up what GAG is all about: a wanton reflection of depravity and disgust with no regard for your weak constitution. It will punish you.
Critiques: On the flip side, this album left me feeling confused. Hatred Stems from the Seed is a very different album from Everyone Leaves in terms of pacing. While the former was a highly energetic, D-beat-driven rager with the obvious footprint of Kurt Ballou, the latter is a markedly slower affair. It's not sludge, but it ceases to feel punk-influenced either. I wouldn't go so far as to outright call it "beatdown," but nevertheless this was the first word that came to mind and often the songs feel like an extended breakdown.
The Verdict: While Hatred Stems from the Seed still represents a band that knows its core message, musically this album leaves me feeling a little unfulfilled. Something was so electrifying about Everyone Leaves, and the absence of this X factor is immediately noticeable. Even so, I will continue to push this band for your personal consideration. Check this one out, and whether you enjoy it or not, I HIGHLY recommend you support the band by picking up the previous LP. Hear it in full Friday.
Flight's Fav's: No Savior, Ann Arbor (Be Safe), Lifeless
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