Break Your Legs: Ghostcore (2013)

Bio (from pleasebreakyourlegs.bandcamp.com):
Three friends from Saint John, New Brunswick shacked up in a haunted house for a weekend with Stuart Buckley (Bananastand Records). This is the shit that came out of them.

Musicians:
Josh Northrup, Sean McCullum, Mike McDonald
To those who don’t immediately recognize the sample, the opening (and for that matter, the exiting as well) track from Break Your Legs’ GHOSTCORE, “HAIL SATAN!,” might be a bit scary and off-putting.  For those that do recognize it as being from the flick that (arguably) made horror a respectable, noteworthy genre, ROSEMARY’S BABY, know that these lines were selected for deeper reasoning than just getting a rise out of your parents when you throw it on the stereo.  I see it as a way of saying “pay attention!” without having to just come out and literally say it… plus any CD that bookends with samples from tow of the greatest (and most well-respected) horror flicks made (the exit samples THE SHINING) immediately has cool points in my book.

It’s apparent – directly from the song titles initially and then cemented by the lyrics – that Break Your Legs has a sense of humor, and do not need to be feared as the quasi-satanic kids the opening track makes them out to be.  I loved “Laundry Ghost,” in which the singer (can’t tell you whom did what as there does not seem to be any info out there on the ol’ interwebs anywhere that really gives much info on these guys… do they really exist?) cries: “Fuck you ghost!  Because you’re stealing all my clothes,” which finally explains the one-lost-sock syndrome.  Just the titles alone – “My Best Friend Died in That Hat,” “The Ballad of Manwolf Sharkpuncher,” “If Silence is Golden, This is Fort Knox,” “A Little Less Sixteen Candles, a Little More Shut the Fuck Up,” “Every Rose Has It’s [sic] November Rain (On a Prayer)” – have more wit and fun built into them than a lot of entire albums I listen to.

I don't know what to say about this other than "I stole this from BYL's Facebook page."
I don’t know what to say about this other than “I stole this from BYL’s Facebook page.”

Musically, GHOSTCORE takes me to 1997.  It’s a time when I was listening to a lot of local PA / NJ punk rock bands (Bigwig, The Overdrives, NJ Joystick, other bands you’ve never heard of…) and seeing shows at community centers, public parks, and house parties.  It was a time when I’d throw down $3 for a tape and get a split by two bands I’d never heard of before (or since), but met and hung out with that day.  It was raw, it was DIY, it was punk-fucking-rock… even when it was poppy.  THAT is what I get from GHOSTCORE, that feeling, that time.  GHOSTCORE is musically, aesthetically, and theatrically very similar to a lot of the stuff that I had the opportunity to be exposed to back then, and the fact that GHOSTCORE is being sold on purple cassette tape makes that connection even more valid.

Break Your Legs makes lo-fi, DIY, punk rock.  They are heavy, but not too heavy, they are fast, but not too fast, and they are crass, but not overly offensive.  Musically I enjoy most of GHOSTCORE, a lot because it does take me back to that time in m past.  If you don’t dig NoFX, Good Riddance, No Use For a Name, or Lagwagon, you’re probably no going to get too much into GHOSTCORE; if you do, then pick this album up now (or, 4/30/13 when it goes on sale)!  Like most somewhat poppy punk rock, much of the album is somewhat similar musically, but there were a few tracks that stood out from the crowd.  I especially enjoyed “Brace Yourself, Chick,” “If Silence is Golden, This Is Fort Knox,” and “Whiteboard,” because they do things just a bit different from the rest of GHOSTCORE without being completely on a different page.  The recording is decidedly lo-fi, and overall I think this adds a degree of charm and authenticity to the music.  My only real complaint about the garage-rockedness of GHOSTCORE is the vocals; I really wish a little more money went into a better mic.  A lot of the lyrics are lost in the sonic mud, and I know I’m missing some funny, fun stuff.

I assume this is the 3 guys... I ALSO stole this from their Facebook page.
I assume this is the 3 guys… I ALSO stole this from their Facebook page.

Overall, I really enjoyed GHOSTCORE.  I that it is an introduction to a band that has a pretty unique voice and does things their own way; Break Your Legs are a throw back to an era when “punk rock” wasn’t ballads played on acoustic guitars or developed into Broadway shows.  I hope to see GHOSTCORE get Break Your Legs some more exposure and get them out of “house party band” status and get them up to playing some bigger venues… like bars!  People need to hear this stuff.  Plus, they like horror movies, so I like them.

Overall 7 / 10

GHOSTCORE for sale: http://pleasebreakyourlegs.bandcamp.com/ (as of 4/30/2013)

GHOSTCORE site: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Break-Your-Legs/139516112778917
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bananastand-Records/349880458449115

Break Your Legs: Ghostcore (2013)
Break Your Legs: Ghostcore (2013)
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