Release Date: 27.10.17 via Mascot Records
We’ve all got friends who we haven’t seen or spoken to for some time. Those that when we do so again we pick up right from where we left off as if not a moment has passed or anything has changed. A late conversation or unexpected phone call regaling times of what has come before with vows made to make good upon plans for the future, perhaps over a raised drink with renewed optimism and new dreams for all - that’s the case in point with 10 Years first album since 2015 in the punchy, melodious and engrossing “(how to live) As Ghosts”.
With original members returning to the fore, frontman Jesse Hasek looks back upon what has come before and what is now; “It's funny. I named our last record ‘From Birth to Burial’ because I thought it was our final record. It just didn't feel like 10 Years without Brian (guitar/drums) and Matt (guitar), and having them back is really a reunion of the core writing team. This new record actually feels like a real rebirth for the band.”
Opening track “The Messenger” slaps 10 Years cards down hard on the table. There’s no playing coy or poker faces here. Melody and swing is the key that opens the door to the album and this courses through its veins with a fire that won’t be dampened for some time.
“Novocaine” is an outstandingly catchy song, no, a sure fire hit in fact. Its chorus which is preceded by an industrial pounding intro with an initial stripped back verse that magnificently builds as the song progresses. “Six albums and a hundred songs in, I wondered if I've already written my best stuff.” Jesse reflects “but at some point, you start to get real adult problems. Life has such a numbing to it. You see people go from such optimism in their 20s to having life just beat them down later. I think we all kind of get desensitized and numb to life on some level. That's what this song is about."
Whilst being more stripped back in its production than previous 10 Years albums, the sound is lush yet crunchy, hard hitting and at times subtly sweet with noted Grammy Award winning producer Nick Raskulinecz at the helm. Nick has brought out another side in 10 Years, a side that shines brightly which will not fade over multiple listens. “Burnout” has a swing to it that is guaranteed to get heads nodding. For the guitarists out there, sorry but there’s no self indulgent big sweeping standing-on-top-of mountain guitar solos here, the melodies are all important with all the “solo” or instrumental sections complementing Jesse’s vocals when they slink or scream back in to blow your hair back.
Lyrically the writing has unfathomed depth and shows a perceived vulnerability as a strength throughout the album - so strong that it’s hard to believe that any of this would be fantasy with evidence presented in the hauntingly beautiful penultimate track “Lucky You” with its exceptionally dynamically counterpointed verse and chorus which will have the listener drawn in. The atmospherics of “Blood Red Sky” with its expansive guitar sound and peppered percussiveness evoke a sun rising where one can be hopeful, reflect and continue on despite all.
Another stand out track is “Phantoms” which possesses one of the most soulful grooves on the album. Again, there is a swing and moments of “resetting” in quieter moments leading to a forceful slam of a band that has a truly collaborative writing process.
There’s a darkness to “(how to live) As Ghosts” yet its aggression also yields beauty which should be beheld and held aloft. It will appeal to the younger generation as well as older ears that miss the initial heyday of alt/progressive metal, yet it bears not a hint of cliché nostalgia that some rely upon as a crutch to support their waning dreams of what if…10 Years will help you build new ones if you need them.
Find out more: