Jake Simmons and the Little Ghosts

No Better

by Jonathan Frahm

11 May 2015

 
cover art

Jake Simmons and the Little Ghosts

No Better

(Spider House / Kerosene Machine)
US: 12 May 2015
UK: 12 May 2015

Taking deep pride in their coming together in Kalamazoo, Jake Simmons and the Little Ghosts settles itself kindly on the sleeves of rootsy, gritty flannel rock that’s popular in the area while bringing a Springsteen-esque ferventness to the entire ensemble. “Take Me With You” is a fine example of this, torching a Southern-flavored riff to anthemic, emotive garage punk vocals. One of the defining tracks on No Better, it sums itself up nicely with a tenacious guitar solo and a few strong slams of a cymbal, establishing itself as one of the stronger love songs to come out of the Michigan scene this year.

Simmons perhaps becomes his most introspective on “Toledo”, musing on how easy it is to pass quick and unjust judgment on your neighbors in titular fashion. “I know better, and you know better,” he proclaims, just as the band jumps into another robust instrumental jam. Altogether elucidated and unrefined, Jake Simmons and the Little Ghosts strike just the right chord between raw, heavy rock ‘n’ roll from the underground and the philosophical heart of the contemporary indie scene.

No Better

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