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Album Review: Superheist – ‘Ghosts of the Social Dead’

Album Review: Superheist – ‘Ghosts of the Social Dead’

So, back in time, there was this Melbourne band called Superheist that came out and knocked a niche into the Australian rock market with a brand of grindcore, then Nu Metal, that was as fresh as it was intense. Smart, powerful and on the money, it entered the standard charts and hung around. The band had arrived. Only a few, short years after the initial success, the band packed it in and Superheist was on permanent hiatus. It was 2004.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago and I get a PR note saying that Superheist was on a tour of Australia called the, ’Don’t Call it a Comeback’ tour. In all its glory was the new album that the tour was there to promote. ‘Ghosts of the Social Dead’ is as much groove, rap and alternative as it is Nu Metal. The album was recorded by producer Jay Baumgardner (BushPapa RoachCoal Chamber) at the home of Nu Metal, NRG studios in North Hollywood, which was the home of Linkin Park, Limp BizkitKorn and No Doubt. So the album has the pedigree but what else is new?

On vocals we now have Ezekiel Ox, a name that would get you a bucket load of points in Scrabble, but it is the moniker of a vocalist that has many parallel careers and bands on the go. Already, this powerful production with a dextrous frontman, has had plenty or airtime and video plays from the first releases. But, hey, why get excited….it’s not a comeback – right?

Ghosts of the Social Dead’, is just over forty minutes and it’s a thrill ride through the ten tracks on the album. The album kicks off with, ‘Wolves in your Headspace’ and there is a huge pull back to the albums all of those years ago. That deep, resonation, detuned guitar grinds and riffs. Welcome home, Superheist! ‘Back to Base’, is where we have the variances, the melodies and the emotion, as much progressive as it is Nu Metal. The Ox spits out the words, moving from heartfelt lyrics to staccato rap and it’s all underpinned by the guitar of DW Norton that takes us back to the grindcore days of the early 90s.

By the time we get to track three, ‘Fearing Nothing’ you are wondering why this isn’t a comeback. One album and it’s as solid as anything in the current market in the grindspace. The sound is thicker and more brutal than anything Superheist have put together before. There is a rawness about it; they have managed to avoid over production and kept the underlying edge to the recording. But here with this track we have a completely different angle. It’s smart, intelligent writing that’s radio friendly and fresh.

And so is the album. It’s a corker and probably covers as many genres as you can poke a stick at. Highlight of the album for me is, ‘The Deepend’ well written, well produced and has a chorus that bores its way into your brain and pulls you back to regular listens. Maybe a close second is, ‘Flick the Switch’ as it is totally different than anything that’s coming out of Oz at the moment. It’s also a hark back to the Morello days in the mid-nineties. It’s angry without being distorted and it’s intense without becoming a wall of distortion.

This album is a tour-de-metalforce. Adding The Ox to the band is a stroke of genius and Superheist don’t sound as good as they did in the late nineties, they sound much better.

This album is a sure-fire winner. If we had any festivals left that you can go mental at then is this is probably the first band you would book. “Ghosts of the Social Dead’, is a well put together album, with intelligent writing and more variety than you can pigeon hole. Best album I’ve heard in a long while from an Australian band. Get amongst it people – it is a winner.

Their tour, featuring Earth Caller and Segression as main touring supports, is on sale now at wildthingpresents.com. ‘Ghosts of the Social Dead’ will be available in stores and online as of Friday, October 28th. For more information about tickets and the album, go to superheist.com.au

Review – Craig Grant

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