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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
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Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Ghosts & Vodka
Addicts and Drunks
Sixgunlover Records

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
If you have been looking for a good introduction to Ghosts and Vodka, well, this is it. Addicts and Drunks includes every song Ghosts and Vodka has released, plus a previously unreleased track.

Considering their past associations with Owls, Cap'n Jazz, and Joan of Arc, Ghosts and Vodka's post-rock/emo sound will come as no surprise to most listeners, which is either a good or a bad thing, depending on who you ask. Listeners who still haven't gotten over emo, for instance, would probably love this album. People who got kind of sick of it after the mid 1990's, on the other hand, might not find Ghosts and Vodka all that interesting.

Emo enthusiasts would probably like Addicts and Drunks because of the album's complexities-skillful guitar playing and drumming-not to mention the fact that this band can play the former members-of card like nobody's business. Others, however, probably would dislike the album on the grounds that most of the songs sound the same, despite the fact that it includes a full-length, Precious Blood, and their debut EP, Momento Mori. The instrumental meanderings of a couple of talented if pretentious musicians simply doesn't cut it for a lot of people nowadays. "Andrea Loves Horses" sounds like "Conversational All Stars" sounds like "Nicholas Prefers Dinosaurs" (until the end), and so on. There are basically two kinds of songs in Ghosts and Vodka's repertoire: slow, sentimental, and western-inspired, or more math-y rockers, with interesting bits and pieces dispersed throughout the album (see the end of "Mechanical Bull Rider"). The one exception to this rule is the last track of the album, "Bizarre Funeral." It is the only previously unreleased track on Addicts and Drunks, and it lets everyone know that despite the look of things, Ghosts and Vodka still has a few tricks up its sleeve. "Bizarre Funeral" combines dissonance, Ghosts and Vodka's signature complex rhythms, and a knack for a sort of pseudo-catchiness that was not at all apparent in the band's earlier recordings. Could this mean that Ghosts and Vodka are trying something new, or maybe moving in a new direction? I, for one, surely hope so.

Reviewed by Jeanette Samyn
A contributing writer for LAS and a former music director WBAR at Barnard College.

See other reviews by Jeanette Samyn



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