Our Own Ghosts - The House That Silence Built
Record Label: Self-released
Release Date: September 26, 2009
Often when trying to describe most of today's post-hardcore (or "screamo" as the cool kids call it) music, there are certain words that almost never come to mind. One of these words is "tasteful." Another is "mature." "Sensible" could be on the list. Additionally, adjectives like "exciting," "entertaining," or even "listenable" rarely find their way into the mind when thinking of the state of post-hardcore today. Although most have given up on the entire genre, every once in a while, a band will come along and remind us that there are still some hidden gems within the scene. Case in point: Our Own Ghosts.
Hailing from the hallowed ground of Long Island, the band has an interesting take on their post-hardcore music, combining it with a more ambient indie rock touch. During their five song EP, The House That Silence Built, Our Own Ghosts come across as much smarter than their post-hardcore peers such as We Came As Romans or The Word Alive without straying too far from the post-hardcore genre itself. One of the biggest differences are the vocals. Lead vocalist Graham Capobianco possesses a strangely ethereal singing voice for a genre characterized by heavily distorted guitars and angry, tense atmosphere. This helps add to the songs another, more echoey dimension. The band accents Capobianco's unique voice with delayed guitars and on occasion, smartly placed synth.
Another vocally impressive quality of the EP is the screaming. The CD does contain it, but Our Own Ghosts keep it to a tasteful minimum. End result: a more powerful impact on the music whenever it is done. For example, on the opening track "Friends Far, Enemies Further," the verse and chorus consist of Capobianco's melodic singing, ominously building up to the outro, where you are quickly assaulted with some intensely overpowering screams. The rest of the band also perfectly make the switches from light to heavy on the album, showing excellent musicianship.
Our Own Ghosts experiment with a slightly more rock n' roll sound on "Of Bridges and Gasoline," as well as a more mellowed down, almost post-rock vibe on "My Breaking Point" and the almost self titled track "This Is the House That Silence Built." Although sometimes these tracks lack the songwriting sensibility as the album opener or future fan favorite "There Is Cruelty in All Our Bones," the listening experience is still rewarding purely because the band is going in a direction barely touched by others in the genre.
The EP is not a groundbreaking record in the sense that it is a brand new sound that will surprise the entire AP community, but it definitely is a breath of fresh air for those looking for a break from the generic hardcore scene today. Their ambient take on the genre will impress the listener, and the screams and breakdowns sprinkled in there will at least be surprising. The House That Silence Built is not a game-changer for the post-hardcore genre, but it is a tasteful, mature, sensible, exciting, entertaining and listenable album for post-hardcore fans.