I get excited whenever Lauren of Mills On Wheels PR sends me an email. She always, without fail, sends me such exciting bands to review. So when she sent me an email for the band Reuther, claiming that the band is for fans of The Loved Ones, The Swellers and The Flatliners, I was very keen to check them out and get started on a review. Reuther, who are a three piece from Detroit, Michigan, are releasing their debut album Like A Ghost on the 27th of April via Get Party Records and Too Hype Music.
Like A Ghost begins with the song Statement. Instantly we are greeted with a pounding drum beat and some fast jangly guitars. As soon as lead singer and guitarist James Vee's vocals hit I get this feeling that this record is going to be super infectious and a lot of fun. The vocals are poppy and clean and omit a great energy. Backed brilliantly by some very urgent sounding music, it's hard not to get swept away with the song. Tuxedos And Jetskis is a stand out track. This is one of those brilliantly simple songs that doesn't try and overstretch itself. Other than that killer guitar solo that really comes out of nowhere! I really enjoyed the way Vee's vocals are delivered on the verse, it's kind of punchy but also manages to keep the melody of the song flowing. Every line is delivered with half of an exclamation mark, if you can imagine that. So Predictable has a slower start than the opening two tracks. There is a plodding nature with the bass guitar of J.D. Wright adding a bit of life to the methodical beginning. The track goes along for the most part at a mid tempo pace which allows for some massive sing-a-longs for the chorus. There is a strange section towards the end of the song where all the music drops out leading you to believe that the song has finished but there's some guitar riffs placed kind of randomly before that large big chorus. I wasn't so keen on that breakdown on my first couple of listens but it grew on me and is a great way of building up the last part of the song.
The fourth song Highways reminds me of New Jersey pop punk/emo heroes Saves The Day. This is no bad thing - Saves The Day are great! There's a laid back charm to this song. It never really hits any massive highs despite its upbeat tempo but it does take you along a lovely ride. The different melodies in which the music is played and vocals are sung is an absolute treat and make this song vital listening. Up next is the album's title track, Like A Ghost. When a song title is also picked for the album title I always think that puts extra pressure on the song to be great. On this occasion that is certainly the case. Things feel like they are being hit that little bit harder or strummed that little bit faster. Dare I say this feels a little more punk rock? That guitar riff quickly has me wanting to pogo around the room. The vocals have me wanting to shout along with my fists up high. It's all just energy, energy, energy and I bloody love it! So Permanent starts out with a funky drum beat that gets me bopping in my seat every time I hear it. This is the longest song on Like A Ghost so for me it has the role of being the album's epic track. It features a superb vocal performance from Vee as he really does a great job of carrying the song's melody. There is a moment of brilliant atmosphere, as the vocals almost sound haunted, while Vee sings along to a steady drumbeat before we get another great guitar solo that really builds the song to its fast paced conclusion.
Last Call was the track that Reuther put out to the world before the actual release of Like A Ghost. This was an excellent choice as it really shows off the best of Reuther. It's an upbeat and energetic song that again features some excellent vocals. The band barely pause for breath throughout the entire song save for the ending that ends on a more tender note. The penultimate track is named Light This Town and has an exceptional guitar intro. It has a kind of a surf rock sound but a surf rock sound on a ridiculous amount of caffeine. As you can imagine, this has me pumped for the song immediately - like I've also had a ridiculous amount of caffeine. This is exactly how I love my pop punk music, hyperactive guitars and great sing-a-longs. I'm reminded of the early 2000s Drive Thru Records era of pop punk here (one of the best eras of pop punk) and it just fills me with a nice sense of nostalgia. Like A Ghost is concluded with the song Sleeping In. Like the track Like A Ghost, this feels like more of a punk rock tune. At one point it almost sounds like a bit of gruffness comes through on Vee's vocal. The harmonies add a fantastic extra layer to the song and this has me wondering why they didn't use them more - harmonies are great! For me, Sleeping In is the best track on the album.
Like A Ghost is a strong debut full length from Reuther. This is an extremely well written album from a band that are showing a lot of promise. Pop punk music in this style is getting more and more popular in the punk world and the mainstream and I can see Reuther really being able to capitalise on that. I suggest you check them out now so you can be that person we all hate, but feel very smug when it's us, that can say "I knew that band back before they were famous".
Stream and download Like A Ghost here: https://reuther.bandcamp.com/
Like Reuther here: https://www.facebook.com/reutherdetroit
This review was written by Colin Clark.