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Sick Figures

Two Ghosts

(Stickfigure; US: 25 Oct 2011; UK: 25 Oct 2011)

Second album from Atlanta outfit falls flat

Atlanta’s Sick Figures have structured their sophomore album Two Ghosts around the story of a pair of lovers. The band touch upon a range of musical styles, some of which work better than others in evoking bygone eras and conveying the plight of these two doomed-but-not-dead figures.


Opening track “Mad” offers a jaunty, almost cabaret-style romp, while the maudlin “Manor House” and bouncy “Graveyard Swagger” provide plenty of heavy emoting and attitude. There’s an abundance of lively guitar and piano throughout, but Chris Campbell’s vocals feel forced, and the tuneless double-shot centerpiece of “No Comfort” and “No Comfort Part 2” falls so miserably flat that the rest of the record never recovers. It’s interesting enough in parts, but Sick Figures remain a band whose ideas outstrip their musical and lyrical ability to make good on them.

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DAVID MAINE is a novelist and essayist. His books include The Preservationist (2004), Fallen (2005), The Book of Samson (2006), Monster, 1959 (2008) and An Age of Madness (2012). He has contributed to The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Esquire.com and NPR.com, among other outlets. He is a lifelong music obsessive whose interests range from rock to folk to hip-hop to international to blues. He currently lives in western Massachusetts, where he works in human services. Catch up with his blog, The Party Never Stops, at davidmaine.blogspot.com, or become his buddy on Facebook (or Twitter or Google+ or whatever you prefer) to keep up with reviews and other developments.


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