Album Review :
The Worthy Ghosts - s/t

By in Reviews | Comments closed

Band: The Worthy Ghosts
Title: s/t
Label: Roar Shack Records
Release Date: 2009
Review By: Scott L


01. Things Flow Away
02. The Sleeping Tree
03. Most Good Things
04. All We’ve Got
05. Materialization
06. Lights Out
07. Unified Field Theory

I’ve never been one to beat around the bush… so right up front, let me start by saying that the front man for The Worthy Ghosts is Catholic. While that may put certain folks at odds with various aspects of his theology (myself included), I realize that there are others that frequent this site who are of the opinion that Christianity and Catholicism are, if not one in the same, at least close enough not to fuss over. So with that caveat to preface my review, I’ll let him speak for himself, “I was raised Roman Catholic, and for the most part maintain all of the practices associated with that, but I don’t really agree with the Church’s stances on some ‘issues’. Regardless, I think that the Bible offers a great standard as to how one should live his or her life, and I certainly try to meet those standards.”

The Worthy Ghosts are a one man band from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania that has put out a nice little 7-track EP. I can imagine a conversation with that one man, Dave Hidek, going something like this:

IVM: “Who are The Worthy Ghosts, Dave?”
Dave: “The Worthy Ghosts are me. Every last one of them. They’re me.

Although given that Dave seems like a pretty smart guy, or at least an educated guy… he would most likely be able to answer far more intelligently than that. Heck, anyone with the brass to name the hidden track on their EP something like “Unified Field Theory” must have more than a couple marbles rolling around up there. Dave is a graduate of composition at Duquesne University and works as the chief recording engineer for Treelady Studios.

As far as musical style is concerned, The Worthy Ghosts are what I would call electronic-pop. Everything is effects laden. From the vocals to the instruments, you get a futuristic, almost robotic, vibe. The keys on the song “Lights Out” reminded me of an 80’s game show theme song, but I couldn’t remember which one. Wow, that was random. Sorry. I’d put The Worthy Ghosts in the same general category as Owl City, Kill Paradise, and A Rocket To The Moon. But don’t let the comparisons imply that The Worthy Ghosts are just another formulaic, over-synthesized e-pop band. There’s a whole lot more going on here than that. Dave knows what he’s doing and does it well. These songs are well-crafted and put together with care and precision. This is not only obvious from the song structure, but from the use of the structure itself to create an intricate web of sound that is full of catchy hooks and textured nuance.

Lyrics are for the most part pretty ambiguous… but positive. Consider “Things Flow Away” which says, “oh for some it seems / so easy to be with another / I know it’s just me / playing games ‘till I recover / and some would say it’s just a matter of time and luck / but I know there’s so much more / so much more / I don’t have patience for / when things flow away from me / I find myself again”. Here are Dave’s thoughts behind the songs: “the entire EP is definitely about projecting a positive image. ‘Things Flow Away’ was written for a friend who was feeling depressed and unwanted because of a failed relationship, when he really had lots of friends who cared about him. The chorus of the song is about taking the bad things in life and making something good out of them. ‘The Sleeping Tree’ is about the material rat race taking up the time that you’d rather spend doing the things that you love, and so you resolve to do set time aside to do those things. ‘Most Good Things’ is a testament to the fact that relationships can end on a good note. ‘All We’ve Got’ is about searching for what fulfills you, and the questions that fill your mind while doing so. ‘Materialization’ is a just a love song. ‘Lights Out’ isn’t really about anything, haha.”

Standout track was “Things Flow Away” which opens the CD with just an amazing ethereal feel. It really sets the tone for the rest of the release nicely.

Overall: A worthwhile EP if you’re into uncluttered electronic pop. The Worthy Ghosts are certainly worth your consideration. And, hey, Dave gets full marks for the hockey analogies on the band’s MySpace site… although I would have personally gone with Roberto Luongo rather than a sieve like Marc-Andre Fleury. But since Fleury’s still playing hockey and Luongo’s playing golf these days… I guess I can let it slide this time.