Friday, December 2, 2011
If I were to describe the songs of Ghost Stories on a margin equal to how I listened to them it would read as if "Heartbreak, TX" is the only track on the album. From the moment of the first spin his song has played back and forth, up and down...and heard differently in each direction. The dark, heavy, and sublime melody is the song's first habit forming trip. It pulls and pushes, lets you fall and jerks you back up...a struggle that resolves only with an inevitable submission to the current. Drowning in it's thick and opaque textures may just be the first listen. Sink a few spins deeper and the mesmerizing grip of a hauntingly strummed banjo delicately weights the senses and hastens the fall. Weeks later you may, as I did, become enraptured with the song's provocatively visceral electric refrain that claws with emotion following a thorough vexing of the song's spirit stealing antagonist. Which ever element of this song is heard, Magnolia Collective is completely owning it. This is a Southern rock outfit expanded with a full accompaniment of Americana strings and they've pulled them all down from the wall to fix this song with surly smooth and tantalizingly moody textures.
No shortage of poets found in this seven person cast, every song is penned from a quill inked in the blood of a broken heart and the pages of their album bleed with the memories of lovers past. "Stolen Car" sets an early pace and coins the Magnolia Collective playing style as upbeat Americana rhythms, slinky C&W electric leads, and breezy harmonies. It also testifies for Magnolia Collective's urge to dive deep into the emotions of break-up's, make-up's, and fuck-up's. "Willow Tree" continues the knack for the deeply drawn plot with a sobering tale of the human condition as experienced by those who have loved and lost. MagCo hits stride for a big finish on "Owls" ...a charging waltz that swells and crashes on a grand scale. But I beg of you, don't let this be a six song EP, scratch for the seventh, there is a love song hidden within this album and you'll hear it if you dream steady.
You'll get this album with the eight-dollar ticket for Saturday night's EP release party at Local 506 in Chapel Hill, and Magnolia Collective will be in form for a raucous night of tight Southern rock. When you get to a disc player, go ahead and start on track four. That's "Heartbreak, Texas" and its not the only killer song on the album, but its the one that kills elegantly. --Carrboro Ninja
EP release party details:
Saturday 12/3 at Local 506 with The Moaners and Stag. $8 buy tickets on etix