Star Ghost Dog – The Great Indoors

Star Ghost Dog
The Great Indoors

Sometimes, you just want to start off with a vast general statement to catch those people who just skim the reviews of bands they’ve never heard of. So let me start off by saying that this is a truly great pop album.

There, got those folks out of the way. They’re off to buy it, and you should too, but you can wait to be convinced, cuz you have time. Star Ghost Dog play some up-tempo pop music that just makes you sing along and dance along. Keyboards are used throughout here, but they don’t take the place of guitars and bass as on some keyboard-driven pop albums. This band combines elements of Brit-pop and indie rock into a masterpiece that is already gaining them some recognition. It’s got elements of shoegazey pop, bouncy rock and retro soul feel, just enough to make this album both up-tempo and comforting. There are elements of Belle & Sebastian here, but not too much, and elements of That Dog here, but not too much. Singer/guitarist Ginny Weaver has a lovely pop-rock voice, sounding like a more mature version of Juliana Hatfield or Jen Trynin.

“Underdrive” starts off with synthesizers and drums and fantastic female vocals. It doesn’t sound too original, but SGD manages to infuse enough rock and some sonic guitar sounds to keep this song bouncing along and an up-tempo pop beat. I’m reminded of the pure fun pop of bands like Girlfrendo mixed with a little more rock. “Knock Down” is lovely, the keyboards setting the backdrop for a slow song that picks up in the chorus with wailing guitars. “Megafauna” deserves to be the band’s first single, with wah-wah guitars and vocals that have a serious groove to them. “Feed me, I’m an angst-ridden poser. Wake me, when this nightmare is over,” Weaver sings. “Holiday,” unlike the Madonna song, is a pure pop song, moody but with a pretty chorus. “Erase Me,” with its repeated line of “erase me, erase me, cuz I’m done,” is a pure pop gem, bouncy with bleeping keyboards and a clean guitar riff. “Moth” is very bouncy and has a share of “ba-ba-ba-da-ba” that I always like. “Automatic Caution Door” has a very familiar feel, sounding like some early 90s alternative pop but with better lyrics and better guitar in the background. And finally you get the beautiful title track, with lines like “one plus one is too much fun” and some great background noise over some soft drums and some beautiful cello.

So, to sum up: Star Ghost Dog are a breed of pop-rock band that hasn’t shown up much in recent years. But they combine elements of that genre from the earlier 90s with a retro, keyboard-infused groove and modern guitar-rock energy to create near perfect up-tempo pop-rock songs. If you have a short attention span, you didn’t get this far. But if you did, check out SGD. It’s excellent stuff.