The Amity Affliction: Chasing Ghosts

The lighter side of emotional pain, Oz style

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It takes a great deal of effort not to fall victim to Chasing Ghosts. Hellishly catchy, charmingly compassionate, and a neat mix of the comfortingly predictably and interestingly quirky, this reignites the fire that early Atreyu once fuelled, but with a touch more personality.

These Australians certainly wear their hearts on their sleeve and tackle some dark topics, but the feisty optimism and deliberately silly, random songtitles keep things from being too sickly sweet. Also, although their lyrics may be emotional and their pop-punk appeal rather shameless, the quick switches between Ahren Stringer’s clean melodic vocals, Troy Brady’s crushing riffs and Joel Birch’s irate roars are strong, and Open Letter and Greens Avenue are soaked in vulnerability and torment.

Picking up from previous albums, they clearly have no shortage of persuasive songwriting skills to tap into either. In a world where bands occasionally lose touch by taking life too seriously, this band manage to address pain by first empathising with it, then challenging it to a punch-up and finally singing it into submission. And, frankly, it’s just great to scream along to.