It’s no exaggeration to say that fans of Knoxville alternative rockers ‘10 Years’ have had a rollercoaster couple of years. Disputes with record labels led to the band’s independence in 2012, and then back again to a different record label shortly after. All this confusion and commotion led to threats of their 2015 album ‘From Birth To Burial’ being the band’s last. Long standing band members left and it all looked pretty bleak. However, the band are quite literally back together for what could quite possibly be their most career-defining effort so far.
Since the release of their debut album ‘The Autumn Effect’ back in 2005 the band have been known for their ambitious vocals, epic sounds and catchy lyrics and have drawn similarities with bands such as Tool and Incubus. The band’s latest effort ‘(How To Live) AS GHOSTS’ expands their signature sound in every way and is easily the band’s most complete and enjoyable effort they have released to date. For an album that is all about the concept of death, this is the most alive the band have sounded in years.
Right from the get go with the opener ‘The Messenger’ the album gets across its message of raw power and finesse. The song gets straight into the action with lead singer Jesse Hasek’s signature, hypnotic lyrics combining perfectly with a thick wall of guitar that hits like a sledgehammer. If there is one thing immediately noticeable from ‘(How To Live) AS GHOSTS’, it’s the relentless energy of the freshly revitalised band.
Next up is the lead single from ‘(How To Live) AS GHOSTS’, ‘Novocaine’. This song is an absolute belter and is a must listen for fans of ‘10 Years’ earlier work or fans of alternative rock in general. The pounding drums, excellent guitar riff and amazing lyrics make this song a standout. The energy on display here is simply magnetic, this is the best have sounded in years and this is where the album really gets into its stride . The Lyrics are mesmerizing and show that even when covering topics such as death, there is still some fun to had.
‘Burnout’ is next and is another standout from the album. This song is another heavy hitter with explosive drums and powerful guitars that bring a thick wall of sound that reminds of the band’s earlier work. This is the closest song on the album to the band’s earliest work and could easily slot into ‘The Autumn Effect’. The musicianship on display here is incredible. ‘10 Years’ aren’t trying to reinvent their sound, instead they have trimmed the fat and they have refined their already signature sound.
Seriously, almost every song on the album could easily be a single. The song on display here are just THAT good. The title track ‘Ghosts’ has an almost haunting (no pun intended) quality that sounds more epic than anything the band have attempted before. Before the album’s release lead singer Jesse Hasek spoke of how he wanted the album to have a more epic feel than the band’s previous efforts and on this track it’s clear the band hit the mark.
‘Blood Red Sky’ is almost guaranteed to be a fan favorite and has the catchiest chorus on the album whereas songs such as ‘Phantoms’ and ‘Lucky You’ slow the pace a little but never too much to bring the album to a halt. The placements of these songs mean they are a welcome rest from the early energy. ‘Vampires’ is one of the heavier song on the album and is a personal favourite. I wasn’t kidding earlier almost every song on display here could be a single.
‘(How To Live) AS GHOSTS’ may be ‘10 Years’ 8th album but it is easily their most accessible, enjoyable and creative effort to date. ‘(How To Live) AS GHOSTS’ shows a band at the top of their game and is genuinely a career-defining effort. The band is quite literally back together and have hit back with a bang. From the first moment to the last ‘(How To Live) AS GHOSTS’ shows it’s teeth and is easily the band’s most complete and enjoyable effort to date, i loved every second.
1 The Messenger
6 Blood Red Sky
10 Lucky You
27th October 2017