Returners was a defining point in The Ghost Inside’s career, in-fact not only was it a perfect album it showed that stale genres like metalcore and hardcore could in-fact be enjoyable again. The Ghost Inside are back with their third full-length album entitled Get What You Give which continues the heavy handed assault of Returners and amplifies it by at least 500,000 decibels. While some will write this off as just another hardcore album, don’t be fooled, Get What You Give is anything but just another cookie-cutter hardcore record.
Starting with the angsty, “This Is What I Know About Sacrifice” front-man Jonathan Vigil goes right for the throat on this track that goes for just a little over 1 minute. A barrage of down-tuned riffs that build, some of the hardest hitting breakdowns you’ll ever hear and Vigil showing off his powerful voice. Get What You Give starts off very similarly to that of previous record Returners and even the next track, “Outlive” has similar feel (riff and drum wise) to that of second track off of Returners, “Greater Distance“.
From start to finish the record never lets up (even on the slower melody laden tracks that make an appearance). Lyrically Get What You Give feels a lot more darker and bleak, while some moments feel positive the lyrics for most of the songs paint a picture of loneliness, despair, betrayal and loss which is a dramatic change from Vigil’s usually positive lyrics, whether or not the change was intentional or Vigil was just in a dark place when writing most of the tracks the lyrics don’t read like your standard paint-by-numbers hardcore band lyrics.
One of the more noticable changes in the overall sound of The Ghost Inside are the addition of melodic clean vocals. Believe it or not front-man Jonathan Vigil not only handles tough guy vocals but he also undertakes clean vocal duties on the album as well which sound very much like vocalist from A Day To Remember Jeremy McKinnon who also produced this album and obviously influenced the guys to branch out and try adding clean vocals to their music. Lucky for the guys the clean vocals are awesome, they don’t sound whiny or nasally like a lot of typical hardcore band clean vocalists sound like.
The production on this album deserves a very special mention. Jeremy has done an amazing job on the production on this album, I was a huge fan of the production he did on The Devil Wears Prada’s last album Dead Throne. Everything on Get What You Give sounds raw and authentic, the guitars are chunky and pronounced (without sounding too mid laden) and Jonathan Vigil’s vocals are clear and strike with precision. The most enjoyable tracks on the album are all of them, but if I had to pick favourites they would be; Engine 45 (the breakdown is awesome), The Great Unknown (the riffing is catchy), White Light (excellent drum work). In all honesty, I couldn’t fault any of the tracks on this record.
New drummer Andrew Tkaczyk makes his debut on Get What You Give and while most of the songs don’t really show off his abilities that well, the drum-work in White Light is a perfect example of just how good Tkaczyk is behind the kit, if you’ve seen Andrew live then you’ll also notice he’s able to play the entire back catalogue of the band perfectly, it’s like original drummer KC Stockbridge never left.
Get What You Give is a serious contender for artist of the year and without-a-doubt one of the best hardcore releases of 2012. Even if you only purchase one or two albums this year, make sure this album is on your shopping list it’s well worth the money.
Rating: 10 out of 10.