Ghosts Of Sunset – No Saints In The City
Golden Robot Records
Release Date: 14/09/2021
Running Time: 41:40
Review by Beth Jones
There’s something so comforting about familiarity, isn’t there? Familiar tastes and smells. A go-to song when you need a sonic hug. Your own bed when you arrive home after a trip. It’s a warm fuzzy feeling; nostalgia that puts you in your happy place and takes you back to good days and good times. Ghosts Of Sunset, our subject here today, basically epitomize that nostalgic familiarness, and wrap it up in a cosy bow for the listener. I had the pleasure of reviewing their EP “Headed West” earlier this year, and having the chance to trip down nostalgia lane again by reviewing “No Saints In The City”, their latest release, was something that I couldn’t let pass me by.
In case you didn’t read my EP review (tut tut. Don’t worry, there’s a link at the bottom of this review so you can rectify that) here’s a bit of history. Ghosts Of Sunset are an American 80’s Rock/Hair Metal project featuring singer-songwriter John Merchant, and drummer Todd Long. These two gents have been kicking it in the music business for a long time and were joined on the EP by some classic names. “No Saints In The City” has come about after the roaring success of that EP. And I’m very glad it has. While this isn’t as conceptual as the EP, each song tells a melancholic story of times gone by, but in a happy and upbeat way, that is 100% classic hard rock and hair metal, but that also draws inspiration from 70’s punk and rock ‘n’ roll.
This is an album that not only brings back the sound of the 80’s completely, but demonstrates some fine writing skills, both lyrically and musically. It’s got high octane numbers, and classic ballads. It’s got face melting guitar solos, catchy riffs and hooks, great vocal harmonies, punchy rhythms and gravelly, rocky lead vocals, that tell of long nights fuelled by rock ‘n’ roll! It is impossible not to tap your feet and nod your head along to the sounds, nothing is fussy or overcomplex, and nothing outstays its welcome.
One of my favourite tracks on the album is title track, ‘No Saints In The City’, which was actually the first single released from the album. It’s an up-tempo ballad about the quest for the protagonist to “make it” on the streets of New York City. It’s masterfully put together, and tells a great story, in such a familiar way that you will be singing along by the second line of the chorus. (The elephant in the room with this song, however, is the fade out at the end [*sighs and facepalms*]. Please don’t fade…please, please, please! It irritates the living hell out of me!)
This really is a great album that makes you smile. There’s one weird song opening that I can’t get my head around though – on, ‘Bastards Of The Bowery’. It sounds like an early 2000’s Nokia 3310 ringtone. And since connecting that thought with the opening of this track, I can’t unhear it!
But, if you’re looking for a nostalgia trip done brilliantly well, this album needs to be in your playlist.
‘No Saints In The City’ (Official Video)
02. No Saints In The City
03. Look Me Up (If You Come Down)
04. If You’re Not Coming Back
05. Queen Of Used To Be
06. Love Ain’t Enough
07. Bastards Of The Bowery
08. Puzzled Heart
09. Tonight You’re OK
10. Us Against Them
11. Something To Believe
LINK TO BETH’S REVIEW OF THE “Headed West EP”
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Beth Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.