The Ghost Town Rebellion - 'Silver & Gold' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     April 14, 2018    
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If only my school history lessons had sounded this good, I might have learned something.

'Silver & Gold' is the second full-length album from Sacramento Grit Rockers The Ghost Town Rebellion, following on from 2016's 'Urbs Indomita' and their 'Vol. 1' EP. They continue with what they do best, writing songs about the history of their city and state, yet also go a little further afield this time, including the Nevada Constock and stories where the American Dream collide with the American Nightmare.

The title track is the main theme running through the album where all the gold and silver seekers, panhandlers and prospectors came out west looking to find their fortunes and discovered that the west could indeed be wild, and where you would do anything that needed to be done to survive.

The Nevada Constock was a lode of silver ore and was the first major discovery of silver in the US, something that caused considerable excitement – the greatest since the gold rush ten years earlier. Elsewhere, Serial killer Dorothea Puente is the subject of the track '14th Street Manor'; she ran a boarding house in Sacramento in the eighties and murdered her elderly and mentally disabled boarders before cashing their social security checks. It's a dark subject set to a rocking beat.

'Set The Sails' is an immigrant's song, a track of love, hope, a dream of a better life and travelling into the unknown, and it's one of the standout cuts. 'The Guide' asks the question "do we need to be constantly on the go" and also questions this "crazy modern world", while 'My Getaway' sounds like an old campfire sing-along love song that comes complete with an accompanying fiddle.

The title track of their previous album was the Latin motto of Sacramento – which translates as 'Indomitable City' – which is the title of another standout track here and a homage to the bands home. The Foo Fighters-ish 'Ca. Republic' gives way to 'Gunslinger', and it's no surprise that an album about the history of the west should have a song about a notorious cowboy Charles Earl Boles – aka Black Bart.

What Shawn Peter (vocals/guitar), Mike Shively (guitar/vocals), Steven Martin (percussion), and Jacob Crain (drums) have done here is crafted together historical tales with rusty grit and some Blues era storytelling that's all backed by catchy hooks, pounding drums, distorted guitar and some occasional strings, horns and banjo.

If only my school history lessons had sounded this good, I might have learned something.

Cat O'Brien

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