Ghouls' Run crosses boundaries, and offers everything the five piece have.
The album starts with a gritty jam that spills the truth of everyday life; exploring topics of mental health and its consequences in Seasonal Affective. Perhaps the catchiest hook in pop-punk so far, "Maybe you'll get better, improve with the weather…" captures the often naive approach that outside factors are all that causes internal issues.
Although Ghouls offer something new with their merging of punk sub-genres, the most common topic in music makes an appearance just over three minutes into the album. Autophobia's story is no doubt personal, but we have all been through this before – making the track relatable, but also one of the weakest on Run.
Contrastingly, Better Places is by far the strongest on Ghouls' latest release. Clever lyrics confidently delivered by vocalist Ben work perfectly alongside sprinklings of ska. As well as the addition of a slick guitar solo which is over too quick unlike the last note of the song.
Facebook Friends begins like an aggressive version of Macklemore's Thrift Shop. Between the cliques, gems such as "I need somebody's company, so take me into custody," lie. Overall, the 21st century rebellion track hints at how the modern dating game is hopeless.
Salt has a backing track that dreams are made of. Leaning more to the band's pop-punk elements, the song highlights the challenges of a failing/failed relationship and the recovery process.
Another strong contender, The Difference, highlights faith and dedication compared to doubt. The track opens with some of the most prominent lyrics from Run, "A moment of clarity, I think I'm doing something right. Harder for you to see, because you're so short of sight…" Although the track's topic is serious, the overall upbeat and lightheaded feel presents hope.
Photo Credit: Ben Walker.
Home tackles a common topic from a creative angle. Telling the personal story of what home means to the members of Ghouls; the song reminisces on childhood, reevaluates the current day, and expresses the changes and similarities between the two.
The jazzy vibe of Antagonist lightens the fiery tone of a broken friendship. "Personified your problems by blaming them on someone," sings Ben with a fearless passion.
Hard Days captures clear, pristine vocals with a beat to compliment. The short ditty is well worked, and consistent throughout.
Disavowal brings Ghouls' creative direction together in under four minutes by capturing elements that are previously scattered all over the album.
By far the darkest song, Expect Greater Things is full of self-doubt and spite. Starting as an eerie acoustic track before building to become a full band ensemble.
Oxycontin is driven by heavy drum beats, and captures an element of Mumford & Sons feel-good folk. This sits in collaboration with forceful lyrics before the track brings the album to an abrupt end.