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A pretty impressive introduction

Spirit Or a Ghost
Spirit Or a Ghost
By Republic of Letters

Self-released: 2007

Buy it now

This review first appeared in the April 26, 2007 issue of the North County Times.

With an ultra-polished sound built around the urgent vocals of Chris Venti, the San Diego quartet is drawing flattering comparisons to Irish rockers U2. Their first recording, a six-song EP, is full of much the same type of thickly arranged pop-rock that Bono & Co. have ridden to music superstardom, but with more of an art-rock edge to the sound, a bit of the moody aural sepia tones that Scotland's Deacon Blue employed in the late 1980s and early '90s.

While the overall sound here doesn't have any kind of retro feel to it, the beat has that '80s kind of dance rhythm to it – sort of a Flock of Seagulls meets Dexy's Midnight Runners kind of vibe. And so while this isn't dancing music per se, it's certainly listening music you can dance to.

The half-dozen songs are apparently all written by the band, and all have a nice sense of heft to them while also having an instant familiarity.

As debuts go, it's a pretty impressive introduction.