Old-school rock and roll hasn’t really changed that music in the last 40 years or so. Then again, it doesn’t have to. You can make a good argument that the genre has found its perfect form a while back, meaning that all you need to do is make it fit your personality, vision, and needs – bend it to your creative will and let the spirit of rock and roll do the rest. Fundamentally, if done right, it is always going to sell itself.
And if you are going to argue that all you can do when in the confines of the genre is re-invent the wheel to some degree, at least artists such as Ghost of You manage to add some fancy trims, rev the engine excessively and take that wheel for a spin round the block, ignoring stop signs and pedestrians, jumping the lights, leaving tyre marks on the road surface and generally annoying the neighbours. It is rock and roll, after all.
The two recent singles from Ghost of You perfectly demonstrate what I am talking about. Heartbreak Creepin runs on a solid, gritty energy, guitars grinding out an unrelenting groove, driven on by bass and beats that both power and punctuate. And then choruses explode into anthemic, rabble-rousing sonics allowing incendiary salvos and squalling solos to blow the song wide open.
Like all good rock and roll, Southbound runs on heavy blues licks and more boogie-some beats, euphoric and restless momentum and vocals that start in the realms of epic and then move upwards from there. Slight lulls and heady crescendoes build the diversity and dynamic, but essentially this is rock and roll in its purest, most honest form.
And you could argue that you have heard it all before, or something a lot like it. Well, let’s be honest, you have. But it is that blend of reassuring familiarity, of power and poise, of groove and grind, of muscle and melody, coupled with enough freshness, that makes music like this so accessible, so welcoming.
Rock and roll ain’t dead, it just bought a new pair of driving gloves!