Jesse Smith & The Holy Ghost

Jesse Smith & the Holy Ghost

Jesse Smith & the Holy Ghost

Standby Records

Release Date: July 8, 2016

Jesse Smith (Zao, Through the Eyes of Katelyn, Gods) returns with his latest band’s second release, and label debut. Releasing on Standby Records, Jesse Smith & the Holy Ghost is a monster of an album that is as eclectic as it is energetic.

The album kicks off with the melancholy, intro-ish “Mystic River.” It establishes immediately that this album is gonna have some southern flare, making them akin to bands like He Is Legend (who they are touring with), Maylene & the Sons of Disaster, and even The Pretty Reckless. “826” and “The Mountain” back that idea up with heavy, sludgy riffs and hints of psychedelia. Meanwhile, “Son of Nomad” and “Killing Me Someone” pick up the pace while adding some Punk Rock swagger to the mix.

For me, it’s the wildly out of the box moments that impress me most. “Keep on Runnin’” is a more anthemic moment that gives off a Fitz & the Tantrums vibe, particularly in the chorus. “Blood on Your Halo” has a big eighties Alt Rock vibe that I can’t get enough of. When the big, melodic chorus rolls around you can’t help but feel it and the bright, clear guitar work makes it stand out from the rest of the album.  It’s “Light Blind” that becomes my personal favorite though, it’s like The Mission on steroids. The rhythm section drives the song along but the moments where the dissonant guitars and breathy vocals take over take the song to a whole new level, almost like an anti-chorus.

Jesse Smith and the Holy Ghost is an album that has blindsided me. I missed out on the band’s EP a few years ago and I’ll have to live with that regret. Thankfully, the full length is here to show the world just what we have been missing. This is one of the most diverse and interesting records I have heard this year and if you enjoy heavy music you owe it to yourself to pick this one up. This is easily one of 2016’s best!

Reviewed by mark1340


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