The Grinning Ghosts // Yesterday Tomorrow
Recommended Track: Tomorrow’s Just Another Day
Five or six months ago I played a show alongside The Grinning Ghosts at the Copper Door in Santa Ana. I was too blasted on illicit and terrible substances to recall my performance, but I’m sure the illicit and awful specter of Sid Vicious was quietly shitting himself in approval. Puking is virtually accepted in punk rock etiquette, but not shitting. Why is that, punk rock women and men? While you are on a bender, I respectfully say to thee: Shit yourself. Shit yourself well.
The Grinning Ghosts’s debut hits with a nice sort of punk/shoegaze blend, opting for poorer production quality than is present in their live performances, à la Ty Segall and Thee Oh Sees. I note the bassist, whom I think I would like. He fills the ends of verses with arpeggios that are almost on time, scurrying to find the end of the proper note. I bet he played Roundabout alone in his bedroom until he could execute it properly, the hallmark of all vocal and egregious bass players. You have to have that Yes vinyl. It must be there, in your dirty ass room.
Grinning Ghosts, while by all means a good band, are like a well-oiled machine that produces rubber peanuts, bagged and categorized by color and size. The organization is there, but the message is absent. What the hell am I going to do with all these rubber peanuts? But I guess the main function of music is to serve as a background to hit on that one person you like.
That being said, this is Grinning Ghosts’s first foray into album producing, and I’m willing to cut them a little slack: they show heart, they show finesse. At the heart of every human being is a brain full of joy, trauma, and heartbreak. The real key is cutting through all the bullshit, ignoring the extraneous bullshit, and getting it out. Most people are afraid to open up to such a wide audience. If Grinning Ghost do, they might very well make the jump from a forgettable OC band to a fully realized, dynamic group.