Review: My Own Ghost – Life on Standby

My_Own_Ghost_-_LOS_cover640Written by Rainer Kerber

Luxembourg was musically a blank spot on the map to me, but that has changed in the last few days. This changed when two bands from the Grand Duchy info materials landed on my desk. One of these was Life on Standby, the second album from My Own Ghost.

Life on Standby will be released April 28th through the small Finnish label Secret Entertainment. The title song tells the story of people who simply pass by life; they can’t enjoy life to the fullest. The video to the song shows in somehow disturbing images a man whose wife has died and who has now lost any relation to reality. The song starts with dissonant industrial sounds. The guitar riffs fall gloomily on the listener. On the other hand, ‘Everytime I Break’ is musically much more positive. Here is rocked mercilessly forward.

Life on Standby is a rocking album with a pop side that’s strongly pronounced, especially on ‘Alive,’ ‘10 Weeks of Summer.’ For some songs, the quintet sounds damned like the German stars Beyond The Black. But the songs and, above all, the vocals of Julie Rodesch are much more multifaceted. At the beginning and the end of ‘No Air’ there is a spooky-sounding version of the traditional ‘What Shall We Do With A Drunken Sailor,’ but in between can be heard finest rock/pop. Excellent guitar work backed by strings provide the framework for Julie’s unique, powerful but warm sounding voice. In ‘When Love Is Not Enough’ again the riffs bang from the headphones – a song for dancing and headbanging. With ‘Hope’ the album then ends ballad-eque. Backed by synths the voice of Julie sounds partly fragile.

I’ve compared My Own Ghost with Beyond The Black. Actually, I do the Luxembourgers so wrong. The songs are much more varied, and with Julie Rodesch they have an outstanding singer whose voice pleasantly stands out from the mainstream. Most of the time, she sings in medium, but has no problems to move to the highest pitch. Stylish, the musicians move on the narrow ridge between epic and cheesy. I really know only one band that succeeds on a similar level – Amaranthe from Sweden. Here producer Hiili Hiilesma (HIM, Apocalyptica, Amorphis) and Svante Forsbäck (Rammstein, Sunrise Avenue, Bullet For My Valentine) during the mastering have done a great job. The result is an above average rock album that captivates the listener throughout the season. 8/10

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