by Gina Myers
Life Size Ghost's Where We Started
is a solid sophomore effort that supports the buzz that has been steadily growing around this young band. Comprised of six members—Talitha Snowden on keyboard and lead vocals, Curtis Hendershott on guitar, Erik Ryden on lead guitar, Dan Pavlovich on bass, Brian Thomas on drums, and Reese Gall on vibraphones and percussion—the Lansing-based group seamlessly comes together to create a bluesy, danceable indie rock.
Much of the bluesy qualities is due to Snowden's voice. As a front-woman, her soulful vocals are powerful and clear, and the dynamic songs demonstrate her range. Her vocal command is on display from the opening track on, and her contributions are definitely some of the strong points that make this album memorable.
Another strong point is the songwriting. Comprised of only seven songs, the album still clocks in at 32 minutes. The opening track, "Old Design," is the longest song on the album, coming in just shy of 6 minutes, while the title track is the shortest song on the album but it is still a good length at 3:45. The longer songs allow for more complex song structures, which give way to more breakdowns and more opportunities for the individual bandmates to showcase their abilities. Especially shining during these moments are Ryden's guitar solos and Gall's vibraphone sounds. While the vibes are a presence throughout the album, it's during breakdowns like the Caribbean-influenced beat in "Anytime, Anywhere" where they really come to the forefront. Often associated with jazz, the vibraphones fit in perfectly here.
Lyrically the songs address relationships, but they escape falling into either of the extremes we're used to hearing in pop songs—that of the head-over-heels in love or that of the broken-hearted. The emotionally mature songs get at the complexities of relationships and acknowledge things are never black and white. Overall, each track is solid and the album is professionally polished. If there is one downfall, it is that there is not one track that stands out amongst all the others. However, if the biggest complaint is that all the songs are good, then this band is probably on the right track.
Life Size Ghost will be playing with The Bearinger Boys at the Hamilton Street Pub (308 S. Hamilton, Saginaw) on Friday, June 11th. For more information, visit their MySpace page at http://myspace.com/lifesizeghost.
© Gina Myers, 2010