In a month that’s saturated with sounds from Mariah Carey, Michael Bublé and WHAM, I do admire bands that release new material during the festive month. Brighton based TRIBE OF GHOSTS released their debut EP 1 today and judging from the strong sounds, the new year is not going to know what hit them. TRIBE OF GHOSTS were formed in 2018 via a mutual love of loud noises and in their words, far too much reverb.
The EP doesn’t beat around the bush as it opens with Ruination. The atmosphere hits you instantly with a clip from the game We Happy Few speaking the words “truth is the enemy of happiness” reverbed. This grabs your attention ready for the loud guitars as this clip continues. One of the key things within this game is the enemies making sure the inhabitants are literally putting on a happy face. Knowing this information emphasises the intense power of this track. It gives you the first taste of TRIBE OF GHOST’s sounds; the song structure is fantastic. The verses show a hazy and calm side that give us poetic lyrics such as “your steps you take through the earth, to treat to live a life so tainted”. This is before leading to some sheer brutality in bridges and the loud chorus stating “do you see what you have become”. Both of these are powerful and intense and make a great opener to the EP.
From the moment Sunburner starts to play, I can tell it’s going to be an intense experience. This was reinforced by the prominent guitar riffs and brutal growls after a sound clip from the film Altered States. Even during the calm parts of the song, you feel intense and on edge as you are waiting for the next aggressive part of the song to come. You really don’t want to be caught off guard so you stay alert even when things seem fine. TRIBE OF GHOSTS lyrical content looks at mental illness and recovery. If you dig deep enough, you can hear lyrics such as “cleansed and dressed, to hide the signs.” Those who struggle with mental illness, this line is very relatable as even talking about mental illness is still considered a taboo subject amongst others so a lot of us pretend things are fine.
Nemo is the latin word for no-one or nobody and the atmospheric sounds match the emptiness behind this word. The poetical lyrical content also matches this emptiness and lines such as “become no one, masked with a smile” reinforce this sense of emptiness. The last track keeps up the intensity and power that it displayed throughout the album. The growls stating “I am no one” gives you a rush of intense adrenaline and reinforces the fact that you still need to have that guard up, even when you think you feel safe.
Each song on 1 had its own tale but they all have one thing in common; they give you the feeling of what it’s like to live with ill mental health, on edge all the time even when things seem fine. TRIBE OF GHOSTS capture this feeling perfectly. If this EP is anything to go by, they have a strong future ahead.
Words: Lotty Whittingham
1 is out now.