Seahaven – Ghost
Seahaven‘s Ghost EP is difficult to review and critique. This isn’t meant in terms of quality (it is mighty good, but by no means perfect), but rather in each individual track carrying traits of other artists; opener “Plague” starts off much like Brand New‘s “Sowing Season (Yeah)”, “Bottled” contains glimpses of pop rock legends Third Eye Blind, “Ghost” sounds a lot like post-artcore chameleons Fear Before). Yet somehow, all seven tracks are wrapped in a punked-out bow with Jimmy Eat World‘s logo on it. Out of context, it is easy to see how this makes Ghost read like a band searching for themselves through a mishmash of different sounds, never actually finding a unique sound for themselves. Fortunately, that is not the case, as Ghost is one of the highlights of the first half of 2010.
What makes EPs often difficult to review is that bands are often forced to compress songs into a smaller sonic timeframe, thus limiting themselves, eliminating any musical context in the process (see Trap Them, who despite being one of the best bands of the last half-decade, fell a bit flat on their latest EP). This is Ghost‘s primary difference from most other EPs: Seahaven approaches it like a full-length, making each catchy track work and flow together as one complete set. It is easy to picture the band playing the EP straight through live, instead of having to mix it up to pander to an enthusiastic audience.
The most interesting part of the EP comes in the title track; it is surprising that the band decided to name the EP after the heaviest and least “mainstream” track on the effort. I can only give the band kudos for the decision. Also, for those unfamiliar with the band, the one guest appearance on the album may trigger your interest: Jordan Browns of Set Your Goals fame guests on “Love”.
It isn’t often that an EP can pack enough punch to warrant a spot on my top ten of the half-year list, but Ghost makes a very good case for it, pleasantly weaving the sounds of past favourites into the band’s own brand of catchy poppy punk.