The Ghost Inside – Dear Youth
Four albums in, The Ghost Inside still drive forward with the same youthful intensity that vocalist Jonathan Vigil once lamented losing, combined with a unique wisdom of the world that can only come from a good number of years in the game.
Yes, the artwork, looks a lot like The Dillinger Escape Plan’s One Of Us Is The Killer. Yes, the intro to “Avalanche” sounds a lot like Bring Me The Horizon’s “Suicide Season”. No, we don’t really give a shit and neither should you, because Dear Youth is solid as all hell.
Taking its title literally, Dear Youth functions thematically as a letter to vocalist Jonathan Vigil’s former self, seeking to reclaim and rediscover the world-in-your-hand mentality of being young and not yet jaded. Relatable and relevant, it’s a fitting topic for this point in The Ghost Inside’s career. Vigil’s knack for penning life-affirming pre-breakdown lines is well exemplified on heavier cut “Mercy” (“Life’s swinging hard/But I’m swinging harder”), while “Move Me” and the album’s title track move along at punk tempos and highlight the band’s catchier side.
While the mix isn’t quite as good as their 2012 effort Get What You Give (seriously, what’s up with that snare?), it still hits hard in all the right places – the opening beatdown of “Out Of Control”, spiced up by some tasty flares from drummer Andrew Tkaczyk, is ferocious, oozing with groovy aggression.
Get What You Give saw the band bravely inject a small dose of clean singing for the first time, and this time around numbers like “Avalanche” and “Phoenix Flame” further demonstrate that a bit of melody never hurt no one. These aren’t the only dashes of nice-guy vocals on Dear Youth either – a tasty cameo from long-time bro of the band Jason Butler (letlive.) takes “Wide Eyed” to a wonderfully unexpected place, as the irrepressible bearded madman somehow channels theatrical splashings of Michael Jackson into the song’s bridge to make it one of Dear Youth’s standout moments.
Four albums in, The Ghost Inside still drive forward with the same youthful intensity that vocalist Jonathan Vigil once lamented losing, combined with a unique wisdom of the world that can only come from a good number of years in the game. This is a band that keeps growing with no signs of slowing down.
The Essential Track: “Mercy” – Vigil sounds so fierce as he roars the line “For whom the bell tolls” that you wouldn’t dare make a Metallica joke.