Review Summary: Is this the album that allows 3 to finally receive the recognition it deserves?
While progressive rock has undergone somewhat of a renaissance of late (see Muse
and Fair to Midland
is still a relatively unknown band. Well, if The Ghost You Gave to Me
is any indication, the band’s fans need to make more room in the bandwagon. The band features a stew of sounds, including (but not limited to): progressive metal, 80s hard rock, alternative, and flamenco.
As the lead vocalist and guitarist, it’s easy to simplify The Ghost You Gave to Me
as the Joey Eppard show. His vocals are stellar at almost all points in the record, and his ability to switch from acoustic passages to driving riffs is not only distinctive but impressive. When the man truly lets his pipes go, as shown in the soaring choruses of “Afterglow” and “Numbers”, he is at his best. When Eppard employs his whispery falsetto, the results showcase the issue with tenor vocalists in rock bands: his lows aren’t as powerful as his high notes. Make no mistake, the vocals are fantastic throughout, as the weaker moments are overshadowed by the many great melodies. Featured early and often throughout the record is Eppard’s fantastic acoustic guitar work, which gives the band a unique identifier in a genre known more for being technically sound than individualized. Also Eppard’s lyrics are a great counterpart to the surprisingly uplifting tone of the album. Throughout, the themes presented focus the difficulty of staying positive despite the harsh realities of life, which is a very fitting message in 2011.
While one member of the band obviously showed up to the party, the rest of the group is up to the task. Drummer The Gartdrumm (yes, that’s his name) is the perfect man for the job. There are tasty fills to be found, but mostly the standard beat is complex enough to please any drummer. Bassist Daniel Grimsland also does a solid job in rounding out the rhythm section, only occasionally asserting his will when the music should be infused with some groove (see his fantastic fretwork on “Only Child”).
The only unattractive part of the album is, ironically, the song “Pretty”. Featuring a dance rock-like chorus, the song feels misplaced compared to the rest of the album, but even the only subpar track on the album is not skip-worthy material, as it is catchy enough to save itself from mediocrity. Where the band truly shines is when they embrace their metal influences. The end of “Numbers” is pure gold for metal heads, and the haunting, heavy riff in “It’s Alive” is one of the album’s highlights. The bread and butter for 3
is in the vocal melodies of Joey Eppard who absolutely shines throughout. Overall, this album is a must for any fan of modern progressive rock.