The four-membered rock band Plain as Ghosts hails from Canada, and their upbeat, dynamic style is reminiscent of bands like the Foo Fighters and the Matthew Good Band. Drawing upon deep, personal experiences, their release Rendering sweeps through ambience, anger and beauty in a cohesive, comprehensive approach to alternative music.
Hauntingly ominous, yet strikingly beautiful, “Rendering” opens the album with an instrumental swell peppered with distorted clips of unintelligible speaking. This subtle opening shows the band’s maturity and patience in using their first track not as a full-length piece but as a stylistic introduction and a primer to draw the listener in. As the track fades into “Convolution,” driving percussion and melodic guitars provide the vocals with a full chorus of support.
“Monday Morning Quarterback” takes a reflective aura in its intro as wistful lyrics and subtle strumming on electric guitars lead into a power ballad as strong as it is moving. Trevor Lux’s vocals are especially outstanding in this track. Following this, “Against the Waves” is a similar power ballad with a catchy chorus and a solid beat that make this song arguably the best on the entire record.
Quiet, almost ethereal sounds open “Alethea” and carry the song to multiple dynamic peaks. This smooth and ultra-harmonious song is contrasted by “Empty Halls & Plaster Walls,” a more edgy, harsh tune that draws upon gravelly vocals, power chords on electric guitars and crashing percussion to generate a truly immersive listening experience.
As the album nears its close, “The Law” ventures into a refreshing alternative track with hints of pop, ego and rock layered over each other in an uptempo, melodic mesh of styles. The album ends with “Character Witness,” a song that gently and steadily builds to a pinnacle, then fades into silence. As a whole, this album is memorable and a genuine showcase of talent, and Rendering will serve Plain as Ghosts as a powerful propellant in their career as a band.
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