Review by Dom Vigil
Ghost Town’s new release, Evolution is just that for the band. Right off the bat, Evolution is dark, building quite a bit of anticipation, and that eerie mood sticks around for nearly all eleven songs. With a solid, established sound and plenty of momentum in every song, Evolution is not only a fun listen, but it’s different than anything that the band’s peers are currently doing.
“Spark” isn’t a huge opening track by any means, and it seems that the band plays it a little safe with this song, but it definitely serves to build anticipation for the rest of the record. The fuzzy effect on the vocals of this track gives the song a darker, more grungy feel, but when the vocals take on a brighter quality in the chorus, the song really seems to come together. It also helps that the chorus is totally catchy, something that will have fans singing along in no time. “Evolution” follows “Spark” with the same eerie mood and fuzzy, electronic feeling in the vocals. These first two songs really set the mood for the entire album, and much like “Spark,” the chorus of “Evolution” is big, but unlike the first song, the energy is very high, and the vocal runs are catchy as hell. The instrumentation really sells this title track, as well, as it’s very creepy and eerie sounding, especially toward the end, almost making you feel like you’re in a haunted house.
“Mean Kids” is strong for different reasons than the first two tracks. Carried mostly by instrumentals and electronic parts, this song feels a lot more dancy and upbeat than the first two tracks, but definitely still holds that same eerie feeling. The chorus of “Mean Kids” is very anthemic, making you want to get up and dance and scream along. The following track, “Out Alive,” is the first step away from the eerie feeling on the first few tracks and feels a bit brighter. The change of sound is definitely a welcome, as “Out Alive” feels like more of a ballad than anything. The only complaint I have about this song is that I almost wish it was a little more stripped down instrumentally to match the softer vocals and lyrical content. The song does feel a little overproduced, but there are strong moments as well, especially in the big, bright chorus.
The solid sound and overall dark and eerie mood on Evolution, while very strong, can also be the album’s downfall at times. Though it is very refreshing to hear Ghost Town’s evolved and solidified sound, the similar moods on some of the songs tends to make them blend together at times. That’s not to say that there aren’t standout moments on the album, though. “Human,” for instance is a really bright and uplifting track. While it does definitely step away from the eerie sound on the album, the song’s positive lyrical content, catchy instrumentation and memorable chorus make it strong. “Loner” is another strong, poppy and catchy track in the middle of the album. And there are some darker songs that really stand out, too. “Candles” is more emotionally charged than many of the songs on the album, and it slows things down quite a bit toward the end. The vocals in this track take on a very soft and emotional quality, all while keeping that dark mood in the instrumentals and imagery in the lyrics.
Closing the album on a surprisingly positive note is “Let Go,” which also has a very different vibe from the other songs. The acoustic guitar in this song is a pleasant and much needed surprise, and by the time it comes to a close, fans are sure to feel fulfilled. Evolution is an incredibly strong release from Ghost Town. The band has managed to establish a very strong mood and overall theme for the album, but it is apparent that they also understand when to break away from the mold and create standout tracks that don’t necessarily fit the otherwise dark mood. Songs like “Let Go,” “Candles” or “Human” are a light in the dark of Evolution, and the contrast between the songs is what makes the album such an interesting and fun listen.
Listen to "Evolution" "Mean Kids" or "Human"