Ever have one of those days where things just don’t seem to go right? You want to yell at your insufferable co-workers, boss, etc. and you come home and someone says, “Honey, how was your day?”. You aren’t really sure where to be begin without sounded like a whiny buffoon. I have a solution for you. Hand them a copy of Ghosts by Cleveland, Ohio’s Hiram-Maxim, tell them to listen and say, “THIS is how my day went!”
This is not to say this is a bad album. Quite the opposite really. The album starts off with the title track which is a perfect blend of noise rock, pulsating rhythms, and the best screaming vocals I’ve heard in some time. The good news is that Hiram-Maxim are not a one-trick pony. The following song “Burn” wouldn’t be out of place on a Swans album. The song has hints of drone and shoe gaze (I hate these terms), but Hiram-Maxim provide just the right amount of both to make this song one of the best on the album.
From here, the album has various peaks and valleys which take the listener on one enjoyable ride. Some songs have spoken word parts (“Witchhunt”), noise (“Behind the Blindfold”), and ballad-like master (album closer “The Pain of the Price”). To top it all off, drummer John Panza (drums/programming) only has ONE FUCKING LUNG! I’ve played drums myself in a few bands and can tell you with two lungs there are times you can barely breathe. The fact that he can play like this (and in various other bands) shows the true dedication of Panza and Hiram-Maxim.
The album is a ‘grower’ in every sense of the word. However, with repeated listens, we are rewarded with another great album from the equally great Aqualamb Records.
You can buy the album in digital or vinyl format (each copy has it’s own unique color). You will also receive a 100-page book filled with artwork, lyrics, and photographs by Raye Hart and Bryon Miller (see the pic below). I’ve ordered from Aqualamb in the past and can attest to the quality of their products. Don’t miss this one folks!