-Review- August Ruins - The Ghost and the Gasoline (4/18/11)

August Ruins
Label: From The Depths Entertainment
From: Pittsburgh, PA
The Ghost and the Gasoline
Release Date: 2011
Sounds like: Thrice, old Boysetsfire


Track Listing:

1. Forfeit and Deny
2. Bleed With Me
3. Don't Turn Away
4. Our Endless War
5. Instrumental
6. What You Don't Know

In a musical climate, spanning everywhere from Pop to Black Metal, where most bands are totally content with sounding exactly like their peers, August Ruins seemingly doesn't seem to be at all content with that. Nobody ever said mixing punk, hardcore and hints of metal was going to easy, but somehow, by someway, August Ruins have managed to fuse all three into something, and that something is actually good! Where there are select bands who try to outshine each other as being as 'left field' as possible, August Ruins doesn't have to force anything. They're different just by being themselves and playing the music that they themselves love, and while punk has sort of been hiding for the past few years, it could just be them who ressurect it back into it's prominence. 'The Ghost and the Gasoline' quickly starts off with 'Forfeit and Deny', a punk song which incorporates a nice helping of metal guitar work, that serves as a great introduction to the EP. The technique on the song can easily be called original, and the lyrics, to put it in lamens terms, have a lot of heart. 'Carry me away, stop denying yesterday, your lying to yourself' may be possibly be the best line in the whole song, and that's not to say that the rest of the lyrics don't resonate, it's just this reviewers personal favorite! Keeping up that pace and not missing a beat, August Ruins quickly blasts into "Bleed With Me", a piercing song which is light on it's feet but hits especially hard. The drum work is fast and very contagious, coupled with excellent guitar work and immaculate bass, this song does not disappoint at all. With personal lyrics to top it all off, it makes for an interesting and sonic mix. As 'Don't Turn Away' comes in, it's very apparent that these guys know exactly what they're doing. It's a slower paced song than it's two predeccesors, but in no way does it come up short. The lyrics are very insightful and it showcases the bands talent well and readily proves that they can create songs that strech far beyond even the toughest critics expectations. As 'Don't Turn Away' fades out and 'Our Endless War' comes storming in, it proves that at a drop of the hat, August Ruins can bring that intensity and heat back. With a chorus made for the crowd to sing along to, it's moments like this where the band seem poised to take over the scene, and there's no denying that. Now, possibly the weakest song on 'The Ghost and the Gasoline', 'Instrumental', is where I get lost. It's not that it's bad, musically speaking by any means, it's just that it kind of leaves me wondering why they didn't keep the momentum going. Sure, they may have wanted to slow it down just a bit, but on an EP? I could see taking a break on an LP, but not on an EP. I feel this may have been best reserved as a hidden track at the end of the EP, rather than right before their final hurrah. But just in the knick of time, while 'Instrumental' closes out, they come back in on 'What You Don't Know', a blistering anthem that is the PERFECT ending to a great EP. 'What You Don't Know', just like 'Our Endless War', seems to also be made for the crowds and I could see them playing it live as their last song of the night. I'm not sure if they actually do this, but I think it's probably the best song to end a set with mainly because it's strong, in your face and it leaves a hell of a lasting impression!

So, all in all, I'd give 'The Ghost and the Gasoline' a solid 8 out of 10. It's a thorough EP, and it's one of the freshest things I've heard in the past three to four years. They make outstanding songs and work exceptionally well together as a band. Also, the lyrics are clever and well written, which only makes the whole deal a lot sweeter, making August Ruins a band you should definately be checking for!

Review by: Nathan