Three Stars

Enter Ghost is the second album by the emerging alternative rock band Celestial Shore. The bizarre album art is a relection of their sound, which is eclectic and resists categorization. Indeed, on their website, Celestial Shore appropriately describe their genre as ‘indecisive’.

The vocals of the lead singer, Sam Owens, are in stark contrast to the solid beats of the band. On playing the opening track, ‘Creation Myth’, I was expecting the entry of strident lead vocals à la The Kooks. Instead, Owen uses an (ever-popular) breathy, childlike sound that comes straight out of Belle and Sebastian and The Mouldy Peaches.

It is clear that the group are in the early stages of developing their sound. Yet I would argue that Celestial Shore are trying to be too clever. For example, the final track, ‘Goodbye’, is lyrically very emotive, with use of unusual harmonies and dialogue between the two singers. However, the effect is reduced due to the over-use of reverb on the guitar, turning what could be a catchy song into something sounding altogether more experiemental.

Clearly, one of the aims of the band is to transport the listener to a new, ‘celestial’ place, but I wonder how many potential listeners the talented band will lose as a result of this over-experimentation.

Despite this, and despite the lack of originality in Owen’s voice, Celestial Shore are worth listening to and looking out for in the future. It will be interesting to see which musical path the ‘indecisive’ band will choose to take.