Ghost Mice � Debt of the Dead � 4.5 out of 5
Plan-It-X Records is known for it�s long, intertwined chain of punk-influenced folk bands, better known as folk punk bands. It was no surprise when acoustic guitarist Chris Clavin of Operation: Cliff Clavin teamed up with violinist Hannah Jones in Bloomington, Indiana to create the musical force known as Ghost Mice. Plan-It-X associates have often worked on quite a few projects at once. What was surprising was the brilliance of the music they created and how easily it can be enjoyed. After releasing a split with fellow Plan-It-X band Defiance, Ohio, the duo released the full-length �Debt of the Dead� in 2004.
You may ask what their sound is like. Think of it this way: Simon and Garfunkel meet the Sex Pistols, have a child, and give the child a guitar. And with that guitar, the young child becomes an accomplished musician. Chris� voice is bright, toneful, and soaring, and Hannah�s voice is soothing and has a touch of innocence in it�s sound. The guitar playing is brisk, and the violin playing, while a bit scarce at times, is full of catchy hooks and fun, bouncy little lines.
The album, as with most Ghost Mice music(and most folk punk, for that matter) can easily be enjoyed by people of all ages and tastes. The recordings, which are of high quality, use no electricity. This means no amps or mics. No computer generated effects. I would say this is a rather nice change. Even a lot of acoustic recordings have become drenched with computer effects. The songs are, for the most part, upbeat, and full of emotion from both band members. The lyrical topics include high school, punk rock, camping, and befriending your enemies. The general theme of most of the songs is self-improvement and friendship. The lyrics are clean(which is nice) and to the point. Another thing that stands out is the singers� abilities to harmonize. In my opinion, the album is almost perfect.
However, please note the presence of the word �almost.� My only complaint is that the guitar seems to use the same rhythms a lot. This distracted me from the song by making me think, �wow, this sounds familiar.� For some reason, I couldn�t take a huge chunk out of the score for this single flaw. Maybe I�m too lenient, or maybe I just like the band too much. Regardless, this album is on my �must-own� list, very close to the top. I would recommend it to anyone.
PS. This is my first review. I hope you like it, and feel free to make constructive criticism.