Thursday, November 21, 2013

Album Review: "Public Housing" by Gross Ghost

"Public Housing" was released on Oct. 29 on
Odessa Records. Gross Ghost will be celebrating
their album release this Friday, Nov. 22 at Cat's Cradle's
new Back Room w/ Last Year's Men and Schooner.
“It starts this way/nothing to do nothing to say,” Mike Dillon desperately sings out as the opening track to Gross Ghost’s latest full-length Public Housing kicks in. A brisk drum beat and bouncing bass line drive along until the electric guitar frenetically bursts through the mix, setting the tone for what’s to come on this enthralling sophomore release from Gross Ghost.

While their debut Brer Rabbit relished in playful poignancy, Dillon and company go straight for the throat on Public Housing, an album the chronicles a hectic period of couch surfing during the post-break up wake. Tracks like the album’s opener “Seeds” display a lot of the sentiments that can be found on Public Housing, Dillon wears his emotions on his sleeve as he runs the gamut of reactionary tales. While the overarching themes delve into looking back on loves lost, their sonic foundation is strongly geared towards the future.

Public Housing is a crisp record that was recorded at The Pinhook in Durham, one of the attributing factors to the unequivocal energy that oozes out of these tracks. The addition of longtime collaborator Christopher Hutcherson-Riddle has allowed the drums to serve as a powerful driving force for these rhythmically focused songs. Vocal melodies will frequently mirror the guitar riffs, making for wonderful interplay between all of the various textures in place. Public Housing finds Gross Ghost putting together all of the pieces that make for a tight, cohesive band with a strong drive to succeed.

Whether it be the unforgettable hooks on tracks like “You Will” or the unshakeable grooves on “Howlin,” Dillon’s songwriting is the strongest it’s been to date on Public Housing. While Brer Rabbit was a wonderful album that I still find myself drawn to, it very much just tackled the surface of this band’s potential. Public Housing plunges deeper into the rabbit hole, allowing for intimate connections with these tracks. The album’s lone acoustic excursion, “Dissolve” is filled with insatiable longings of “wanting it all,” and manages to fit in perfectly with the distorted anthems it’s surrounded by. This can easily be attributed to that constant sense of connectivity with these songs, Dillon has poured himself into these tracks and it’s paid off immensely.

Whether you’re hulled up in the house or barreling down the interstate, Public Housing’s versatility lends itself to plenty of listening situations. The introspection allows for listeners to entrench themselves in these tunes while the upbeat, jangling instrumentation makes these songs capable of filling you with uncontainable energy, driving you to shake, sway and shout along to these infectious songs. Public Housing gives Gross Ghost a powerful foundation to build upon, with two fantastic releases behind them there’s an undeniable spotlight shone upon this group. It’s clear that Public Housing is only the beginning for this newly cemented lineup of Gross Ghost, and there’s nowhere but up to go from here.

1 comment:

  1. album where all musical or lyrical ideas contribute to a single overall theme or unified story. Absolutely amazing, we can not be more thankful for all the albums we have played for and all the people we have met throughout our whole journey of playing.

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