For Ghost Hound, volume isn’t so much a means to an end but an all-out priority, and in their new single “Last Train To Nowhere,” they prove that they can be loud and proud but still sound pretty focused from top to bottom. Too often in the past year have I come across a new southern rock act that wants to be as big and brash as Clutch yet lacks the melodic sensibilities to hold their shape in a long performance, but I don’t get that from Ghost Hound here. They put on an amazing show in this single, and give us a lot to look forward to as critics and fans.
The classic rock influences here are pretty obvious, but it needs to be said that this band isn’t living in the past with their concept. They’re not trying to work some kind of retro element with the stylization of the riffs in this song, nor do they seem the type to listen to old Molly Hatchet records with the exclusive purpose of pushing out something both punchy and overdriven. There’s a countrified credibility to the hook in this track that speaks to this unit’s effectiveness and depth, and any critic who hears “Last Train To Nowhere” will likely agree with me.
In their music video for this song, Ghost Hound exemplifies their aesthetical perspective through a highly theatrical visual embodiment of what their sound is. Forget the barebones look that a lot of other rockers have been using lately; from the moment they get started here, I think it’s obvious that this band is more reliant on their creative intuition when it comes to scoring fans than they are any of the fleeting trends some of their contemporaries would just as soon try to build an entire identity around.
There’s absolutely zero give in these guitar parts, and as someone who has been jonesing for a fatter tonal presence out of the underground recently, this is just what the doctor ordered this fall. The muscularity of the strings isn’t even half of it – there’s a punishing intensity to the arrangement of the bass and the guitar that makes every beat from the drums a little crunchier than it needed to be, and yet I’m hesitant to say that the mix fosters messiness. It’s overwhelming, but not overdone by any stretch of your imagination.
I cannot wait to hear where Ghost Hound is going with this present direction they’re in on “Last Train To Nowhere,” and if there’s anything we can learn about their ambitiousness just from listening to this track and observing the music video made in support of its release, it’s that this group isn’t going to let mainstream standards stop them from being as defiantly loud as they can get. It all starts with big volume, and atop this foundation, Ghost Hound builds a boogie-heavy southern rock style that has a real chance at winning back some of the critical and commercial success that was lost to other genres in years past.
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