I think that in my former life, I was a ghost hunter. I love it and honestly wish I could get into it during this life but I barely have enough time to sleep these days so my ghost hunting will have to wait. Why am I telling you this? Beyond the fact that I like to give you little peaks into my life because, ultimately, this is my blog, is the fact that Hundreds of Vultures’ new EP is entitled ‘Ghost Haunt’ and the cover of it has me thinking about those ghost hunting dreams. I definitely don’t have time to ghost hunt this week but I did have time to check out this brand new EP so let’s take this journey together, shall we?

Although I was expecting something slow and haunting based on the album title and cover art, “Don’t Try” instantly jumps into a garage-punk-styled track that had me feeling more energized and ready to take on the date than anything else I had heard today. The overall recording quality is just a bit rough but, within just a few seconds, I realized that I wouldn’t want it any other way. It fits what I think Hundreds of Vultures was trying to do for this opening track and, I assume, the full EP. There’s a sense of power and fury with every guitar strum but the vocals stay cool, calm, and collected in a very juxtaposing way. This may not have been what I was expecting but it was exactly what I needed for my mid-Wednesday afternoon slump.

Although “Maybe” continues with the garage-punk vibe laid out in the opening track, everything just seems to calm down a little bit and creates a bop of an atmosphere for the song. The vocals feel perfectly imperfect along with the guitar playing creating a familiar vibe but a completely unfamiliar sound. The chorus of this track is ear-wormy and instantly got stuck in my head making this track an instant favorite of mine. Even though it’s over four minutes long, the non-stop guitars and drums drive this track forward and, before I knew it, the song was over and the title track had taken over my house.

“Ghost Haunt” splits the difference between “Don’t Try” and “Maybe”. Part ear-wormy bop, party anthemic garage-punk but with a moodiness not yet heard on this album, “Ghost Haunt” drew me in and then blasted me in the face with energy as the song moved through different volume and energy levels. Unfortunately, some of the vocals felt like they got lost a bit in the instrumentation but it almost made it like a treasure hunt to hear the lyrics which I honestly enjoyed. Unfortunately, that element also made this track feel like it was over in the blink of an eye.

This album just doesn’t stop with both a solid sense of who Hundreds of Vultures is but also surprises. There’s something almost a bit post-rock about the guitar tone at the beginning of the fourth track on this album, “Dullard”, but, overall it’s still very much just a solid showing of garage-punk sounds. Honestly, the guitar doesn’t sound much different from the previous songs but something about the tone and how it’s layered against everything else in this track allows the guitar to rightfully take the spotlight throughout this three-minute song. There’s a super cool instrumental break in this track that I had to go back and listen to a couple of times before moving on. I’m obviously not going to ruin it for you because I want you to check out ‘Ghost Haunt’ for yourself but just make sure you check out “Dullard” in its entirety because, as a whole, it’s a true masterpiece.

I was warned by the band that the first four songs of this album are all written from the perspective of partially fictional characters. The final song, “Amber Never Said” is the only truly autobiographical song. I found it hard to pay attention to the vocals in the first four songs just because I was so intrigued by everything else going on during this first listen but I could definitely sense a shift in the vocals when it came to the final track. There’s more emotion behind every word even though, at face value, the tone and overall style haven’t changed at all. That just changes the power of writing what you know and what you lived versus a fictional story. That’s not at all to say that the first four tracks let me down because they absolutely did not but you just really get a sense of personal emotion in “Amber Never Said” and it’s something I wish I would have gotten more from this EP overall.

In the end, I found ‘Ghost Haunt’ by Hundreds of Vultures to be perfectly messy and absolutely infectious. It’s not one of those albums that you can just put on in the background and go about your day, it commands your attention and makes you analyze it for better or for worse. Could I have done with a bit better mastering and just an overall more polished release? Absolutely but I almost wonder if it would lose some of the excitement that I got from each of the five songs on the album.

My Favorite Track(s): “Maybe”

For Fans Of: Garage Punk; Sweaty Mosh Pits; Energy

Mosh-ability: 8.5 out of 10

What My Cats Thought Of It: Artie Slept on the Couch; Autumn Slept Upstairs

How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 8.2 out of 10

My Overall Rating: 8.1 out of 10

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Listen to ‘Ghost Haunt here!

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