The Holy Shroud – Ghost Repeaters

The Holy Shroud
Ghost Repeaters

The Holy Shroud is a new band featuring ex-members of Nova Scotia hardcore favorites North of America. In the opinion of this humble reviewer, The Holy Shroud not only picks up where NOA left off, but its members trump themselves at their own game. Ghost Repeaters finds these fellows mixing jazz-influenced riffs into the formula and coming out with an end result not unlike Karate’s self-titled full-length or In Place of Real Insight.

Ghost Repeaters starts off with “Exit Poll,” a slow-burning number that is more straight-up indie rock than post-hardcore. The vocals are shouted and sung in a fashion similar to Fugazi or those Karate records that I mentioned previously. The vocals are the major noticeable difference between The Holy Shroud and North of America. Unlike its former incarnation, this band no longer employs the bouncy vocals that I felt made North of America sound similar to The Get Up Kids or Q and Not U from time to time.

“Sinners and Sailors” is easily the most aggressive song here, jumping right into a much faster tempo than that of the previous three songs. This is probably the song that sounds the most like North of America musically, but the fact that the vocals are rougher is definitely a plus. Most of Ghost Repeaters runs back and forth between this type of song and the slower, jazzier numbers.

This record may not the most insane, balls-out noise that Level Plane is known for releasing (we’ll leave that to Bucket Full of Teeth and Air Conditioning), but The Holy Shroud’s first full-length is still a quality release from one of the best indie labels in the business. I honestly think that anyone who is a fan of those early Karate records would be thrilled by the sounds of The Holy Shroud. The band brings a tremendous amount of heart to its songs and manages to retain its own identity despite the countless hordes of similar-sounding groups.