Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Stream: Baby Ghosts - Let's Always Hang Out Together, Okay?

Baby Ghosts are a punk band from Utah that employ elements of chiptunes in their sound. Typically, that sentence would be a nauseating description for me. When I hear Utah, I don't think of music. In fact, I don't really think of much except maybe canyons and Mormons, which are two things generally devoid of life that I could easily do without. Chiptunes are usually a novelty component that wears thin pretty quick. Sure I've had fun listening to HORSE the Band and The Advantage, but I don't find myself returning to them often. Despite these things, Baby Ghosts have smashed my preconceptions and left me feeling foolish. Let's Always Hang Out Together, Okay? contains irresistible songs that are far from bland or gimmicky and have me coming back endlessly.

It's no surprise that The Boston Phoenix picked Baby Ghosts to represent Utah in their coverage of the 50 Best New Bands in America. The indie punk madness of Let's Always Hang Out Together, Okay? is a blast of fresh air that is instantly enjoyable. After the 8-bit intro, "The Ghost Next Door" kicks into one of those guitar licks that immediately has you on board. It is the best example of their formula, which features fantastic female vocals accentuated by male accompaniment.

The chiptune aspect doesn't get on your nerves because it isn't featured in every track. Some songs are more marked by their jangly guitars and vocal melodies like opener "Ghost Girlfriend" and "The Ghost of Your Personality". In "The Ghost of Nelson Mandela's Birthday", the guitars and vocals both scream with the same degree of punk rock intensity. The only negative about this album is that it blows by before you can even get a handle on it with every song being under three minutes. But then again, it's one that is easy to start over when it's finished. You can purchase the album via their bandcamp. It's only $4; that's less than a price of a beer in Boston, which is of course, the metric I used to judge all my purchases.

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