Home / Album Reviews / Album Review: Ghost Hounds “First Last Time”
Ghost Hounds (Photo Credit: Jay Arcansalin)

Album Review: Ghost Hounds “First Last Time”

Proving again that blues-rock is alive and well, Ghost Hounds explore new dimensions of the genre on their latest record First Last Time, out July 28 via Gibson Records.

The Pittsburgh, PA band— comprising frontman Tré Nation, guitarists Thomas Tull and Johnny Baab, bassist Bennett Miller, dummer Blaise Lanzetta, and keyboardist Joe Munroe— are adept at combining classic rock’n’roll and heartland sounds with modern country and soul influences. Their work has caught the attention of revered acts like ZZ Top, Bob Seger, and The Rolling Stones, with whom the band have previously toured.

Now with a fourth studio album under their belt, Ghost Hounds confidently boast their will to break new ground. First Last Time kicks off with “Last Train to Nowhere,” which sets the stage for the nine tracks that follow: momentous buildups, a nod to nostalgia, and no filler.

Inspired by old Western cinema, the album follows a central character struggling to find his place in the world. He’s spent the last several decades wandering aimlessly through life with no family, no meaningful connections, no real purpose. Now, he finds himself at a crossroads, where he must make the arduous choice to either stake out a new path or resign himself to the empty life set out before him.

The band waste no time showing off their chops on the anthemic second track, “Dirty Angel.” Nation’s soulful, wide-ranging vocals are its driving force, and it culminates with a passionate performance from all band members and an electrifying guitar solo. It’s a clear contender for album standout.

First Last Time leans into some pop sensibilities— the title track sounds like it could easily find a home in the Top 40, and most songs with lyrics of hardships in life and love are accompanied by upbeat, danceable melodies. It’s almost comically jarring to hear the band pivot from rock to full-blown honky-tonk on a cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Hot Dog” toward the end of the record.

Following 30 minutes of genre-bending fun, it seems fitting to have the album conclude with “Country Roads,” Ghost Hounds’ bluegrass-bent cover of the John Denver classic. It’s a heartfelt homage to the music they say has inspired them for years.

First Last Time is available everywhere today and can be purchased here.

Ghost Hounds Online: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | Spotify | Apple Music

About Parisa Vafaie

Parisa Vafaie is a Master of Public Policy student in Canada with a background in journalism. Her simple pleasures include chai lattes, well-curated playlists, and CDs packaged in jewel cases.

Check Also

Album Review: Baroness “STONE”

Philadelphia-based heavy metal quartet Baroness return with their sixth studio album, STONE.  Released September 15th …

%d bloggers like this: