The Ghost Of A Thousand
New Hopes, New Demonstrations
01 June 2009
by Raziq Rauf
It’s difficult making a follow-up when your first album is universally lauded but people don’t call The Ghost Of A Thousand, “Brighton’s finest,” for no reason. They went into the writing and recording of New Hopes, New Demonstrations knowing exactly what they wanted and haven’t they done well.
Recording took place in Sweden under the tutelage of Refused, The Hives and The (International) Noise Conspiracy producer, Pelle Gunnerfeldt and the results are exceptional. This is the sound of a band that isn’t pandering to anything. You cannot argue that it’s more of the same because the progression in style from raw, unadulterated chaos to careful orchestration is emphatic.
Take the opener, ‘Moved As Mountains, Dreamt Of By Sea’ and first single, ‘Bright Lights’ for instance. The opener is the best entry to an album and the single is the best introduction song TGOAT could want – they display all their finer points perfectly with its rolling riffs and hectic drumming with seemingly unhinged frontman, Tom Lacey reeling from every sharp, purposeful scream.
However, Lacey does know how to show his gentler side. Having personally designed the impressive fold-out artwork for the album he also exercises his clean, non-shouty singing voice through album closer, ‘Good Old Fashioned Loss’ and occasionally during the second most sensitive ode this band will write, ‘Canyons Of Static’.
It’s the magnificent riffs that stand out on the two most exceptional tracks, ‘Knees, Toes, Teeth’ and ‘Nobody Likes A Hero’. The opening line of the former (“Fucking New Romantics / It’s only rock ‘n’ roll”) might be as powerful as you’re going to get this year but it’s the fantastic, spine-tingling solos of Andy Blyth and Jag Jago that really set the songs apart. It’s not just rock ‘n’ roll. These songs are testament to that.
Thrash Hits TV: Tom Lacey from The Ghost Of A Thousand
While the general style is just as apparent within the mesmerising riffs, expertly constructed rhythms and mostly apoplectic vocals, The Ghost Of A Thousand have grown into a band that can absolutely expect to be heralded at the forefront of British hardcore by the end of touring this album.
That first record, This Is Where The Fight Begins clocks in at just over 28 minutes, so New Hopes… seems almost epic in comparison. However, at less than 35 minutes in length, the lingering reverb that signals the end of this magnificent record still leaves you wanting even more. It’s not an insurmountable problem, though, because you will always find enough time to play and enjoy New Hopes, New Demonstrations one more time.
Sounds like: British hardcore meets a Swedish Rocket From The Crypt
Top tracks: Nobody Likes A Hero, Bright Lights, Knees, Toes, Teeth,
The Ghost Of A Thousand – New Hopes, New Demonstrations tracklisting
Moved As Mountains, Dreamt Of By The Sea
Knees, Toes, Teeth
Canyons Of Static
Split The Atom
Nobody Likes A Hero
Running On Empty
Fed To The Ocean
Good Old Fashioned Loss