“Farewell’- Give Up The Ghost: Retrospective

Give up the Ghost: RetrospectiveIt is always such a shame to see such talent go to waste. It sickens me. Why some bands are allowed to continue polluting the airwaves with their tedious bile, whilst the greats of this world bow out without so much as a “give a shit’ from anyone, is beyond me. This brings me to Give Up The Ghost.

Formerly known as American Nightmare, the band formed in 1999 and released a self-titled 7” on the hardcore label, Bridge 9 Records, followed by their second release “The Sun Isn’t Getting Any Brighter.’

Their big break (if you could call it that) was leaving Bridge 9, and spreading their wings to greener pastures in the form of Equal Vision records; well known for it’s unique hardcore/punk and experimental roster of bands. They released their debut “Background Music’ in 2002 (it was later re-released in 2003 under Burning Heart records.)
Around this time, the band faced problems over their name with another band from Philadelphia. After losing the legal battle, the band were temporarily renamed “American Nothing’ before settling for the moniker, Give Up The Ghost.

In 2003 they returned to the studio to record their last album, “We’re Down Til We’re Underground’ (also on Equal Vision). In 2004, they Bridge 9 Records released “Year One’ which featured tracks from the first 7” releases and older recordings of tracks that appear on their debut.

Give Up The Ghost disbanded in 2004. A cancelled European tour a day before the split threw up warning signs indicating the bands perilous future.

From research on the World Wide Web, there seems to be a strong divide between fans regarding the 2 full lengths the band released. Whilst “Background Music’ has a more overall raw and feral feel to modern hardcore, “Were Down Til We’re Underground’ showed a degree of experimentation in the bands sound and style. Basically, it wasn’t a “Background Music 2′ but a progression in hardcore punk music. The atmospheric tracks that bookend the album are one example; sounding more like a prog-bands demo-session. Even Wes Eisold’s vocals are clearer; crisper, sharp and to the point. This isn’t a dismissal of “Background Music’ which to this day, is a challenging and brutal hardcore record.

Wes Eisold (vocalist) matched a chaotic frenzy of aggression in his frontman duties with his heartfelt and brooding lyrics. His words were some of the darkest, honest and cutting of any hardcore band I’ve heard; something that he’s gone on to challenge and even out-do in his new projects as a song writer. If only we could hear what he was saying half the time, the message would hit home much clearer. Thank god for linear notes, eh?

FAST FACTS

Personnel (Final “Classic’ Line Up)

Wes Eisold – screaming, singing, lyrics, frontman of the decade.
Tim Cossar – an axe.
Brian Masek – another axe.
Josh Holden – four strings
Alex Garcia Rivera – hitting some canvas with sticks.

Disc

American Nightmare 7″ (2000) – Bridge 9 Records
The Sun Isn’t Getting Any Brighter 7″ (2001) – Bridge 9 Records
Background Music CD/LP (2002) – Equal Vision Records
We’re Down Til We’re Underground CD/LP (2003) – Equal Vision Records
Year One CD/LP – Bridge 9 Records

Online

Give Up The Myspace
Burning Heart Profile
Where are they now?

Wes sings/screams till blood vessels burst for the band Some Girls and XO Skeletons.
Tim plays guitar in punk rock and rollers, BARS and hardcore terrors, The Hope Conspiracy.
Former drummer Colin Kimble, now plays in Renee Heartfelt.
Josh Holden plays bass in Head Automatica.

Contemporaries

Modern Life Is War
Some Girls
The Suicide File
Comeback Kid
City of Boston

You can buy Give Up The Ghost’s music from Amazon.

By Ross Macdonald

Lizard Hips

Lizard Hips

Junior Vice President of Keep It Fast. In other news: I work in social media, talk about dinosaurs, run a book club and have amazing facial hair. I am also a male man who is still not dead.

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