Saturday, January 3, 2015

Grinning Ghosts - "Yesterday Tomorrow" - Punk for the Millennials - Post Grad Debt and that Deviant Penis (?)

Over the last few years, writers have referred to the "millennials" as the lost generation. I think that is utter bullshit but this generation (born between 1982 - 2004) have been talked about a whole lot usually by baby boomers who really don't have anything really definitive to say about them except that the gen X'ers (or is it Y'ers) will nomadically move from job to job (and maybe person to person), are more liberal in terms of gender roles and will incur unprecedented amounts of post college debt.

Apart from the fact that people make way too many generalizations about all groups, as I listened to The Grinning Ghosts latest 15 track album entitled "Yesterday Tomorrow" I, too, thought about this generation as the songs contained therein feel like perfect milennial punk. Peppered in the songs are references to some of those aforementioned gen X hallmarks.

A while back I reviewed GG's Demo EP and thankfully those 4 songs are on this collection including my previous fav Duller Than Death. About that track I referenced early Kinks and I can hear that tone / influence on other wonderful tracks like Save Me From My Twenties, Summers Calling Sue, and Rum Dumb Diddely Doo. The first track Pictures of A Parking Lot set the tone for the rest of the album. Bridled with a Japandroids type of energy the song is indie punk with a folk heart. There is true poetry in the story telling and a sense of sad youthful romance in the lyrics. The whole album in total looks at dark night stars and longs for questions. The mid-temp sock hop punk of Have a Fun Day and flat footed power punk of Joan's Already Dead at once celebrates punk's forever misanthropic youth but pisses on that old cliche as well.

All these songs, some more than others, engage you musically and lyrically but there are two songs that elevate this collection. Losers For Free is the perfect anthem for today's youth. It is a smart diatribe on all those who are or know they will be drowning in a putrid sea of post Grad debt with a head full of smarts that may not help them find a job. Laced with humor and scads of references to philosophers and historical dates of note, Losers For Free seems to tear down your parents conventions (any parents conventions). The chorus is catchy in a Ramones sort of way and you WILL be singing along.  The second stand out song (among many) is Ecstatic Turnescence. Interestingly peppered with humor for the literate, it is thinking man's punk. It is also (most likely) the only song referencing phallometry.

Yeah, I change my mind. Maybe the millennial generation really is lost after all. It doesn't matter we all are from time to time but at least they have The Grinning Ghosts to show them the way out.

Robb Donker


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