It feels a bit weird to review a release from a band that’s already broken-up but Ghost Hole are special case that deserves the belated attention. Self-described as “Winnipeg’s biggest cry babies,” Ghost Hole’s 1146 is a collection of songs they recorded over their 3 years together. Despite the seemingly scattered nature of the release, 1146 is a cohesive EP that’s bound by the tough stuff (anxiety, depression, abuse, gender dysphoria) and the sense that making music can help ease some of this pain.
Instrumentally, 1146 is a scrappy one due to its pop-punk nature. We’re talking distortion and countless power chords delivered by the quickest of wrists. The stuff built in basements and bedrooms. Lyrics aside, lead singer Kara Passey’s cadence shifts from sweet to sour, sad to angry. A tone that says, “I’m over everyone’s bullshit” one moment to a cry for help the next. In the cleverly entitled “Living on a Prairie,” Passey is joined by the guttural screams of guitarist Dany Reede for a down-right frightening polarization of emotions.
Both the sticky mess of “Peach Pit” and the following track “Ivy” tell distinct tales of abusive relationships yet are delivered in a deceivingly poppy way that includes some oo-oo-oos for good measure. Closer “Take Off Your Shirt” is a celebration of all bodies and the the battle many of us face everyday when we look in the mirror and see someone we don’t want to see. The EP highlight “It Gets Bitter” is a re-telling of a terrible relationship and a big fuck-off to mansplainers but swings to a melody that shakes any residual hurt off. It does actually feel like it will get better despite the title.
Say hello then goodbye to Ghost Hole but may their heavy pop become immortal.
Top Track: “It Gets Bitter”
Rating: Strong Hoot (Good)