Ghost Town faced a few major changes between albums. Earlier this year, the group’s synth expert Evan Pearce stepped down as a band member due to health concerns, potentially affecting the electronic side of their sound. Not wanting to call it quits, the remaining members soldiered on with their album, adopting a broader world view and focusing on some tough subjects. Evolution is the inevitable result of their work.
This still feels very much like a Ghost Town album, drifting between genres over the course of the album; while it starts out in a more hardcore phase in its early stage, it’s not long before songs like Mean Kids and Human begin to adopt a few electronic elements; it’s much less pronounced than on their previous albums—they never quite reach the level of Dracula’s dubstep—but still visible.
Unsurprisingly, this diversity is the album’s strongest suit; they never attempt to take on anything that doesn’t work for them, and it all fits their style well. The album’s final quarter includes some of the most diverse songs, with the atmospheric alt rock of Candles marking a major shift; its minimal verses and twinkling chorus is quite unlike anything that came before it, and it fits lead vocalist Kevin Ghost’s voice perfectly. Closing track Let Go is similarly minimal, though leans closer to acoustic, featuring minimal percussion and focusing on acoustic guitar, vocal harmonies and other accompanying sound effect, making for a sincere and actually surprisingly pretty closing track.
Loner acts as the album’s most engaging song, though; even with its simple verses, the pop chorus mixed with abrasive and chugging guitar line makes for a compelling combination, with the post-chorus break being the song’s catchiest point. For those not interested in poppy tracks or minimal rock arrangements, there’s still a fair amount of content here for you: Down is very much in line with what you would expect from a post-hardcore group, and Evolution mixes a few elements such as Ghost’s screaming vocals to give it that appeal. While they don’t stand out as much as the aforementioned songs, they’re still well worth a listen.
Both their willingness to go in different directions musically and the convincing manner in which they pull off each track make Evolution an album that’s easy to recommend. There’s a lot to enjoy on the album, and it’s especially nice to see that the loss of a member hasn’t caused any major issues with the band and its musical expression. As much as things have changed for them, Ghost Town are still going strong.