On Ghost, Tape Deck Mountain’s main player, Travis Trevisan, sounds like he’s got nothing to lose. It’s no wonder. Trevisan wrote and recorded the album after he—and the rest of the country—got laid off from his job. And you can feel a reticent freedom flowing through the whole record. The scuzzy stomp of “Scantrons”, the crunchy churn of “On My Honor”, the murky guitar play of “80/20”—each sound is untethered and infused with a restlessness that serves them well. There’s a thick, psychedelic haze coating the entire album, as guitars and clusters of voice rise up and surge with the fury of summer storms, only to fade off quickly in the same way and leave everything still and dripping. Overall, Ghost may feel a little too loose, like it resists coming together when it really should. But listening to the overcast minor chords of closer “Bat Lies” proves Trevisan is clearly a voice to pay attention to. One just starting to tense with worry but still light with hope and—for now—resigned to live in the bittersweet mess he’s built around himself.
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