All the way from Anchorage, in Alaska, comes a very exciting new band that crosses the boundaries between punk, rock, metal and hardcore. This False Ghost sound like a raw combination of Deftones meets Glassjaw, with huge guitar riffs and gruff vocals pieced together superbly with some brilliant musicality.
The quartet of Caleb DiLoreto, Christian Childers, Noah Montenegro and Kevin Skinner have a raw sound and massive energy that is refreshing and exciting to listen to and, as vocalist Caleb tells us, it makes them difficult to tie down to one genre.
Caleb said: “I think that people into punk can find something in our music, as well as fans of hardcore, post hardcore and emo. I’ve been told there are tinges of post-punk and death rock in our music but I suppose that’s for anyone else to decide. I think that comes in more aesthetically, at least for the songs that we have currently released.
“We have described ourselves as a post-hardcore band in the past but we are all from the world of punk and hardcore. Without it we would not have many of our ethics or values. All four of us are massive fans of pop music, which assists our taste for melody of course, but we try to avoid pigeonholing ourselves but still keep to our ethics as people from the punk and hardcore communities growing up.”
The band has just launched debut EP Løve Dies//Rewind, which they funded themselves on the back of a tour of a two-song demo across east USA in November, and one word that comes to mind when listening is ‘intensity.’ The guitar riffs are relentless and the vocals are frantically breathless, with moments of quiet reflection in between.
The EP kicks off with intro /wait/, which starts slowly before some huge screams bring the opening track to a close along with some big drum rolls. The brilliantly named, Glassjaw-esque I Hate All Your Friends follows, with a cool choppy intro before a guitar riff and drumbeat combo that can’t help but have you banging you head along in appreciation.
Next up, Ghosts is packed full of cool guitar riffs and it’s more breakneck hardcore punk excellence, including some awesome drum rolls mid-way that help build a huge sound. Rot continues the ferocious fast-paced theme, with Caleb’s huge screamed vocals competing with high-pitched guitar bursts and cool fast guitar chords and huge driving drums.
Statues begins with an ominous reverb-ridden guitar riff that gives away to a huge boom of Deftones-esque guitar rock-out, followed by a fast-paced verse and really fun riffs. The repeats of “Love dies, rewind” amidst the booming guitar chords are hugely powerful while the pure rawness have echoes of early days Nirvana.
Penultimate track Wolves follows in the same vein, with a big guitar intro with some insane drumming in support. Caleb’s vocals start out much cleaner, becoming gradually more intense as the song progresses into a darker, heavier place culminating in a big, drawn-out smash out of huge guitar chords and screamed vocals.
Final track There Is Nowhere Else To Go showcases the excellent musicality of this band, with a cool guitar riff intro leading into a big rock-out with some massive cymbals crashing along in support. Caleb’s clean lamenting vocals come in for the verse, again increasing in heaviness as the chorus kicks in, before the cool rising guitar chords return again. It’s big on atmosphere, and typically intense.
You can listen to the EP in its entirety on Bandcamp now.
When it comes to subject matter, the band becomes even more intriguing. As Caleb explains: “Lyrically, I wrote these songs as an expression of my own depression, frustration and anxieties about things around me. I Hate All Your Friends is about my own anxieties making it hard to become attached to new people, and the conflicting feelings I have about letting go of a lot of grudges I’ve had for people in general. Rot is an expression of my anger for sexual abusers in the music scene both locally and abroad as well as specific people who cover it up for the abusers for their own success.
“To spare you the dramatics I’m sure you would be bored of, the other five songs all carry a linear narrative of overcoming loss, the betrayal of some of the people closest to you not being who you thought they were, and figuring out what you’re left as. The line ‘Løve Dies//Rewind’ from Statues is also the (EP) title because it reflects the cycle of certain parts of your identity and life reaching their conclusion, then starting all over again with what’s left. My life isn’t always as negative as the things I write about of course, but in my day-to-day life I do carry these feelings. I’m not exactly the most optimistic individual. End rant.”
And Caleb is equally passionate about the creation of the album, which the band worked hard to fund themselves. He said: “We had six of the songs written and played them every night on tour, almost in the same order that they are in the track listing. However, we wanted an intro so we began to experiment and wrote /wait/ in those sessions, recording parts as we decided they fit. I ended up working a lot on vocal arrangements during the recording process to make sure the feelings and impact of the words I chose to use was as efficient and real as possible. Kevin helped me with that very much, as did Noah and Demetrik (Grissom, producer) as we began finishing vocal parts.
“We began adding more layers of guitars or other sounds to make everything a more massive listening experience. We are very much ‘album’ listeners versus just ‘single’ listeners so we wanted the EP to feel like a complete piece rather than just a collection of songs.”
You don’t hear of too many bands from Alaska – the only one that springs to mind is the mighty 36 Crazyfists – and we’ve probably never written about a band based so far away from the UK, so we asked Caleb for his take on the local music scene.
He said: “The music scene is pretty good! It can be sparse at times, in part due to the lack of long-term venues, with exceptions to that of course. There has been a very popular resurgence in our D.I.Y community that’s hosting shows again. As far as bands, go there is no shortage. We have everything from shoegaze and indie to hardcore and more straightforward punk artists.”
Not content with just releasing their debut EP, This False Ghost have big plans for 2017. They’re already writing songs with the aim of a full-length record follow-up and have plenty of shows happening throughout the year – in addition a first ever show outside of the US, which they can’t reveal details of just yet.