Album Reviews

Dead 27s

Ghosts Are Calling Out

Artist:     Dead 27s

Album:     Ghosts Are Calling Out

Label:     Red Parlor

Release Date:     09/30/2016

Dead 27s bring a vibrant throwback blend of Southern rock, gritty blues and deep soul into their palpable sound. The Charleston, SC-based five-piece band blends these classic influences to create deep, catchy grooves, vintage textures,and funky melodies that hail from the ‘60s. New album, Ghosts Are Calling Out, inherits the atmosphere of debut 2014 disc with midnight grunge vibes and true Southern grit. From the pocket amp to the Omnichord, the instruments and recording equipment used imitate a bygone era, while the recording space of a 1930s church in New Orleans was absorbed into the raw energy of the disc.

Lead single, “What a Waste,” starts the album off with a heavy, electric guitar and percussion-driven energy that develops further during a unique instrumental solo with a lot of squeals, a lot of riffs and a lot of passion. You then can’t help but get up and dance to lively “Queen,” before swaying to emotional sad and slow ballad “Already Dead.”

“Grey Skies” covers brokenhearted subject matter with a carefree rhythm and melody, as if the light in shining in your room, but the clouds are still there right outside your window. “Scarecrow” plays some New Orleans voodoo with dark guitar work and a menacing spirit before “Fantastic” enters in an area of psychedelic space that wavers between dimensions before falling into a deep sleep.

“Hustlin’” and “Rainbow” arrive before standout track, “Emanuel,” which contemplates the 2015 church shooting in the band’s hometown. The soft reflection seems almost difficult to play as it fathoms the idea that something so cruel can happen in a place so loved by its songwriters. The album ends with “Only One,” however, which embodies a perpetual groove that breaks away from all the hate and pain to create an unwavering unity.

-Kalyn Oyer


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