Review – Plain as Ghosts

Album: Sleepless Shadow
Release Date: February 21, 2020
Genre: Rock/Alternative

Winnipeg alt-rockers, Plain as Ghosts, are back to follow up their 2016 full-length album, Rendering, with a new EP called Sleepless Shadow. Their latest release offers up five songs full of catchy riffs and powerful vocal performances paired with introspective lyrics to leave the listener with a record that manages to hit home on every track. The inspiration the band takes from grunge and hard rock combined with some progressive elements are evident on this album, but each song still manages to feel wholly unique and well-suited to the lyrics that drive it forward.

The EP opens with “Safety Pin”, a track full of early 2000’s alt-rock motifs that fans of the genre should have little issue grasping onto. While it may not take any big chances, the riffs are strong and the song provides a solid introduction to the record. “Ceaseless” follows up the opening track and immediately slows the pace back down to show off the band’s more personal, reflective side. This track, decorated with clean guitars and a simple drum beat shows off lead singer Trev Lux’s range as he hits high notes that are sure to give goosebumps. Track three is no doubt the heavy hitter on the album. Thick with layered riffs and heavy, trudging drums, “Drone Factory” hits the peak of heaviness for this record while still utilizing strong vocal hooks to pull each section of riffage together. Track four is the standout song on this album, as it’s hard to listen to “You are Heaven” without smiling throughout the entire four minutes. The song is emotional, vulnerable, and relatable, but still drives forward and captures that emotion in the music, for a piece of work that is bound to be a hit at live performances down the road. The EP closes off with its title track, “Sleepless Shadow”, which features a solo Trev Lux and his guitar mournfully pleading with the listener as he touches on themes of loss and mourning in this calm, fade-out sort of track to end the EP.

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