Great Green Ghost will take you from a transitional scene in an indie-film to your neighbor’s funeral. They accomplish this jolt in mood in only three songs on their debut EP Bummer Summer. These demos represent their collective favorite three songs that walk a line between post-punk and haunted rock. The group originates from Norfolk, VA, and have been playing together for a brief six months.
Bummer Summer starts on a fresh, upbeat note with the track “Teeth.” The song contains forward-driving energy and softly melancholic vocals. It could almost be mistaken for a Decembrists song. In fact, the singer for Great Green Ghost sounds oddly similar to Colin Meloy, lead singer of The Decemberists, on this track in particular.
The second and third tracks on the EP could best be described as haunted circus rock tunes. The pace of the tracks and overall vibe mark a radical shift from “Teeth.” The tittle track which is the second song “Bummer Summer” tells the story of exactly what the title suggests. Summers are often accompanied by high expectations.
So much hope hangs in the air. However, summer often lets us down. This song speaks to that miserable phenomenon. The chorus belts out, “It’s been a bummer summer, it was one to forget.” This is set to a simple guitar riff and the mild, intermittent clash of a cymbal.
The last track “Justin Sane” begins with thunder and rain in the background. It takes the EP into a much more ominous, almost menacing, place. The song represents a tribute of sorts to the guitarist and lead singer for Anti-Flag, Justin Sane. Although dark, the track contains some wit in the lyrics and their delivery.
For a demo EP, songs don’t necessarily need to flow and be cohesive. However, Great Green Ghost sounds like they haven’t figured out who they are yet. The mood of their music changes so abruptly that it makes the songs difficult to appreciate on their own. It’s a jolting experience. If they can narrow in their sound, and keep playing together, they might end up with a hauntingly good album.
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