Step Softly, Ghost – Ruined in Repetition EP

Step Softly, Ghost
Ruined in Repetition EP

There was a time, not too long ago, when it seemed like every album coming through my PO box was another young band’s take on post-rock, trying to outdo the last one with rapid time changes, complex guitar noodling, stream-of-consciousness lyrics, and more instrumentation than you could ever want. It got a little out of control, and I think the bands realize that. Post-rock is a pretty terrible name for a genre anyway, but bands like June of ’44, Rodan, Slint, and the like made it famous, and it found a home in Chicago. And while it hasn’t died out, it has gotten to the point that the bands doing it take it seriously, and those that don’t likely work at Dairy Queen.
So as you’ve likely gathered, I’d place the music of Indiana’s Step Softly, Ghost into the post-rock genre. Produced by Mike Lust (of Lustre King) and assisted here and there by the members of Ten Grand, Ruined in Repetition falls somewhere between an EP and an LP, filled with seven songs of, well, rapid time changes, throbbing bass lines, intricate guitar work, and unique lyrics. But if you’ve missed your dose of post-rock, look no further, because this four-piece plays it better than just about any band I’ve heard, today or in the past, and they’ll quickly make you forget about June of ’44 or any of their forebearers.
The moody “Dreams of No Shore” kicks off this short album with some great melodic guitars before the vocals come in, powerful, hinting at shouting but not quite. It flows into the soft beginning of “In the Morning,” just at ease before the drums come in rapid-fire and blasting away furiously, really propelling the song. The complicated time signatures are out in full-force on the aggressive “Caught Her Eyes,” and “Cranes Unbuilding Towers” runs the gambit from moody to aggressive with the kind of sheer intensity that early emo bands like Boys Life were known for. And the five-minute “Through Our Spiraling Wings” takes the avant-garde approach, with soft sounds and melodic guitar running under spoken vocals.
There’s something about Step Softly, Ghost that reminds me of the late-90s, discovering all these post-hardcore bands filled with almost amazingly talented musicians who never sounded like they were imitating anyone, who were just making music that was intense, impassioned, and powerful. The members of Step Softly, Ghost are extremely talented musicians, and their debut is an excellent album. It also hints that their full-length will be truly something to behold.