Old Records – Burntmill Ghosts

Old Records Burntmill Ghosts

Old Records is the debut album from Burntmill Ghosts, a trio out of New Jersey. The album is released through Double Helix Records and SBÄM Records. Two out of three people are old members of the band The Fullers, but after writing and recording some songs as a side-project they recruited a new drummer and started Burntmill Ghosts.

Burntmill Ghosts plays pretty classic American punkrock, although moving quite effortlessly between different sub-styles. There’s definitely some One Man Army to be heard, but also some Real McKenzies (minus the pipes) and some Rancid (the melodic side of the band). Opener Another Round sounds a lot like One Man Army, although sped up to 11. And I really like it, the song sparks my interest from the start of the album. And it doesn’t let go through the 10 songs.

The songs are pretty long overall, but don’t feel like they drag on, keeping my interest all the way through most of the time. Much like the musical sound, the band draws lyrical inspiration from historical influences such as historical events, literature and more personal experiences throughout the album. Things such as the California gold rush, the Tulsa massacre, organized crime and the Indian removal serves as inspiration. Works from Edgar Allan Poe and Stephen King also serves as inspiration on top of the more personal themes. It’s overall well written and doesn’t just feel like a gimmick, but rather telling stories fit for an open fire late at night.

The band mixes tempo between tracks, and moves between their influences nicely. It really feels like a band loving punkrock and certain bands, celebrating those different styles through their own renditions, having lots of fun along the way. What really makes me like this is the energy, it doesn’t feel overly complicated or stylized, just straight up good punkrock, that is comfortable in slowing things down in between. And it’s always really melodic, no matter what tempo the band uses.

Old Records from Burntmill Ghosts is the first real surprise hit for me this year. It’s always nice to go into a new band not expecting anything and then become positively surprised. Having that feeling and be able to tell people about it is why I keep doing this.