After playing a show with them, I think 2 years ago in a suburb of Boston, Great American Ghost seemed to turn into just that. I read something about them playing a side stage at a Warped Tour stop in New England but aside from that tidbit of information and maybe a flier for a show or two in who knows where, the band escaped me. Not having any copies of recorded music on them at the previously mentioned show, I figured I’d never hear from these guys again and that bummed me out. From what I remembered they were fast and pissed and were a breath of fresh air amongst the sea of 2nd rate beatdown bands that took up the majority of the opening acts repertoire. Just when I gave up ever coming across these guys again, I’ve been reintroduced in form of their debut full length, Everyone Leaves.

If I had to give this band a clear cut act to compare to, I’d say they are a more metallic version of American Nightmare but they certainly aren’t limited to that comparison. Having that very New England sound you can tell they are cut from the same cloth as bands like Converge, Hope Conspiracy, and Suicide File and in some rare instances during their chuggier/heavier parts you can hear some Death Threat and 100 Demons creep in there. Heavier than your average punk riffs, shoegazey at times, some disco dance beats ala Refused, d-beat pummeling, and some thrown out Slayer riffs bring the idea together. It sounds like a bit much and all over the place but the musicians of the band are solid enough song writers that they can blend these obvious influences into a cohesive sound that is their own.

Lyrically, this is a pretty agitated record. Singer, Ethan Harrison, seems to just be mad at everything and allows that misery to take the main focal point of his lyrical direction. “Maybe I should kill myself, maybe I should seek some help” from the song Dead Punks, is a good summation of where his mind was at when writing these lyrics. This depressed, “fuck the world” attitude serves as a solid backbone to the aggressiveness of the music laid underneath. Sometimes the whole “I’m not normal, no one understands me” lyrical choice borders that of a nu-metal band but for Great American Ghost, it’s not nearly as corny or trying hard to be a “freak”. For them, it works and compliments the music.

I either forgot what they sounded like or they have grown leaps and bounds as song writers since that fateful show in Brockton, but Everyone Leaves is surprisingly one of my favorite records of the year. It has enough energy and freshness to it with its blend of styles, which leaves a little for everyone. For most of you, this is going to be a complete introduction to the band and I couldn’t think of a better way for you to find out about them than in this release. Great American Ghost should quickly find themselves on everyone’s radar.