The Left Ready – Ghost (EP)
Montana rock revivalists The Left Ready are both doggedly retro and 90s bombastic in the way they drop a riff. The Ghost EP is stuffed to busting with zesty blues appeal, hard-hitting rock choruses and a songwriting ethic that sticks to the bare bones. These guys simply sound like they are from an older era when rock music wasn’t afraid to be aggressive yet passionate all in the same breath. Armed with a powerful production that is all about the tone of each instrument, the Left Ready exhibit an eclectic attack right from the get go with opener, “In like a Lion” There are no doubts that this record comes lunging like a hungry lion with this song; the musical finesse built upon vibrant rhythms and twisty melodic guitars that aren’t afraid to throw down on gritty power chords.
“I am a Ghost” is a smokier, hickory tanged blues cruncher that swings its riffing might like a cop swings a Billy club. Each groove is heartier than the last, and vocal dynamo Mike Murray piles vivid, forlorn lyrics atop of the rolling waves of drum n’ bass. Everybody is hitting with force, the anvil heavy weight of the drums, bass and guitar sprint to a dirty dealing crescendo that gives even the Black Keys are run for their money. Even more authoritative, “Will to Survive” nearly blows the volume readings off the charts and brings enough distorted fury to match any hard rock band from Seattle over the last thirty years.
Dialing down the tempo and octane “Hell in a Handbasket” is overloaded with smoldering 4/4 blues churns and gravelly vocals that befit master-craftsmen of the genre. There are no noticeable dips in insanity or quality of the performance, all of the nervous tics getting a chance to finally settle down on the soft farewell jam, “Out like a Lamb.” To be honest after such frenetic rocking, it is almost a disappointment that the EP leaves us with barely a whimper. Grandiose, mountain high blues is the area where The Left Ready specializes and since the soft stuff is a dime a dozen these days…it would have been cool to hear them cap things with some bottled up lightning.
Despite a small slip-up, The Left Ready doesn’t shoot many blanks on Ghost. This is rock with a capital R. When these guys are letting it rip there is simply no stopping them. Thanks to great songwriting and killer chops, this trio excels at the much missed full-tilt boogie of past legends. To anyone that is looking for some solace from the constant pop overload of the mainstream, this EP is a great alternative.
8 out of 10 stars