FY!QM Reviews-Suspect Raptor’s Ghost In Hand
Atlanta, Georgia’s Suspect Raptor has been hard at work on their debut full length for a good amount of time, and this past Tuesday, it was finally released.
Suspect Raptor plays rock that’s a heavy dose of 90s grunge and with modern indie and pop-rock influences thrown in for a health balance. There’s also a bit of something more soulful in there, courtesy of vocalist Ashton May (and dummer Airis Broughton, who sings lead on “Balloon,” and sounds fantastic, especially with the multiple harmonies going on around her).
Ghost In Hand opens with “Acadia,” which sets the tone for the best of what the album has to offer. Four on the floor dance beat drums, clean lead lines playing off a much dirtier rhythm guitar tone, and a warm, smooth bass, with just enough edge to it that it doesn’t lose its definition and fall through the cracks of the mix. The pre-chorus builds to a chorus that practically soars thanks to May’s voice and a particularly inspired lead line.
May has always reminded me of Emily Schambra, former vocalist of Holy Roman Empire, in that her voice doesn’t totally mesh with the band’s sound. It seems much more suited to a more slower, subtle style, like R&B, or even singer-songwriter type stuff, but in this band, she helps give them a unique sound. There are times, though, where she fits in perfectly, like on “Nico,” where her voice gets rough on the high notes, matching the energy of the distorted guitars and the much more punk energy of the track.
The only real negatives on this album are some of the slow tracks, like “Birch” and “Charlene” drag on a bit too long for my liking and bring down the momentum on the second half of the record, but it’s really hard to win me over on a slow song. It’s all that damn punk rock I listen to. Except for “Ghost in Hand,” it has an absolutely infectious guitar melody line that drew me right in. Combined with a odd sounding rhythm guitar (is it a weird sounding acoustic? Is it a hollow and gritty clean electric tone? I don’t know, but it sounds fantastic), the song works in a way that the other slower numbers don’t for me. “Balloon” also ended up winning me over due to the aforementioned harmonies. Luckily, the more upbeat tracks more than make up for them, including the last number, “Ellen Page,” which ends the album the way it began with super dance-y choruses and bouncy guitars, plus the added bonus of keyboard!
Ghost In Hand is a pretty great debut from Suspect Raptor and I hope that they keep doing their thing and releasing new music in the years to come. I also hope to see them live at some point, because most of these tracks you can dance to y’all, and I do love me some dancing.
fyeahqueermusic submitted: Finally got my review up of the new album! Sorry it took me a bit, had a bit of a hectic week. But congrats on getting it done and finally releasing it! And thank you for sending me a download of it, I really appreciate it.
Thank you for the good review, and glad you enjoyed the album! Come down to Atlanta sometime, we’d love to hang with you.