THEIA – THE GHOST LIGHT
“The Ghost Light”, released July 13th on WDFD Records, is a hard rock album from Burton-on-trent based THEIA. THEIA’s style of classic rock with a modern twist has helped them make a name for themselves and their latest offering is sure to be a favourite for anyone with a taste for fun rock ‘n’ roll.
The album opens with “What you want”. There’s a groovy into riff, plenty of palm muting and a bassline that holds solid throughout the song. It’s a very good opener and highlights all the strengths of the band. Powerful, soaring vocals, slick guitar playing and rock-steady drums and bass. The chorus is especially hooky in this one.
The next song, “Mask of the Day”, feels like an homage to classic Australian rock ‘n’ roll. It’s got that AC/DC (or Airbourne, if you’re so inclined) style opening guitar riff. It’s hard not to bob your head to this song, and I appreciate that.
On first listening I felt that “Dirty Livin’” was a decent rock song. Fairly generic and probably the closest thing to filler on the album. My opinion changed when the chorus was stuck in my head for the rest of the day. It’s not reinventing the wheel but its upbeat and hard not to like.
The band begin to show their range with “The Revelator” and “Over the City”, the former a bluesy southern rock number with gorgeous lead guitar work, the latter an acoustic ballad with strong Axl Rose vibes, again the lead guitar playing is excellent.
“Bring it down” features a good chorus but there’s not much else going on. It’s aptly titled though as it wraps up the more downbeat section of the album. It’s a really simple album flow, but so many bands get it wrong: Start big and loud, drop down to the more mellow stuff in the middle, build it back up for the finish. THEIA pretty much nail it. “The Ghost Light” starts with a dark, ominous bass intro and builds up into a riffy, largely instrumental song, the vocals are strong towards the end and it leads into “No Crisis”, another song full of driving riffs and an obligatorily hooky chorus. I thought it was strange that the titular track felt like transitional song, but it did its job and brought the energy level back up.
“Children of Change”, probably my favourite song on the album, starts out as a Bon Jovi style anthem. It’s incredibly melodic and has really smooth backing vocals that really add to the scale of the song. Opposing this, the song also features the most metallic guitar playing on the album. It cuts to sinister sounding, heavily distorted riffs throughout, it’s a strange dynamic but it pays off. The vocals are outstanding on this one too. Really powerful, fist raising stuff.
The album finishes with a classic rock gem “Throw me a bone”. It’s a foot-stomper, it’s straightforward and it’s got everything you expect by this point, prominent bass guitar, chunky riffs and a catchy chorus that may or may not be stuck in your head all day.
I absolutely loved “The Ghost Light”. The production quality is excellent, the pacing and rhythm of the album is perfect; it feels like a proper album, it takes you for a ride, not just a collection of songs thrown together without order.
It’s a classic rock album, but it’s far from a throwback. It doesn’t feel like a band trying to go back to the 80’s. It’s fresh, its lively and it belongs in the 21st century, but it still maintains that classic rock feel that we all love.
The roundness and fullness of THEIA’s sound also impressed me. Despite being a three-piece, they’re able to achieve a massive sound. A big part of this is down to the bass essentially being utilised as a rhythm guitar. The bass is the backbone of the band, not just an afterthought. You see this immediately in “What you want” and it holds true throughout the album. The sound is built from the ground up, each instrument has a major role to play and they do it expertly. While the drums don’t have any particular standout moment they are strong throughout. The rhythm guitar’s prowess is evident is “No Crisis” and “Children of Change”. For lead guitar work, there’s “The revelator” and “Over the City”. The vocals are honestly impressive on almost every song so there’s little point in giving a specific example.
Just buy this album, you will not regret it.
Review by Josh Farrell
The Ghost Light - Album (July 2018)
Back In Line - Album (June 2017)
THEIA I - EP (Mar 2013)
THEIA II - EP (Sept 2013)
Take The Pill - Album (Sept 2015)
Kyle Lamley - guitars & vocals, Paul Edwards - bass & vocals, Jake Dalton - drums