CD REVIEW: Feral Ghost - A Gathering Storm
by: Cyrus Rhodes
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Indie Rock, Alternative Rock
Sounds Like: The Script, They Fray, OneRepublic, LIfehouse, Augustana, Parachute and Snow Patrol
Technical Grade: 9/10
Weakness: More solo segments, Short sided CD
Feral Ghost is a London based rock/pop band who formed in early 2012 and was put together by lead singer/songwriter and guitarist Danny Warwick, who's the younger brother of Sarah Washington who had a number of hits in the UK in the mid 90's. Paul Castleman on drums, Andrea Marin on lead guitar, Marino Donati on bass and Chloe Hunter, backing vocals and percussion, make up the rest of Feral Ghost. Their debut album “A Gathering Storm” was released in 2014.
The CD quickly kicks things off with intoxicating “A Million Stars” a dynamic intro piece that dishes out solid low end rock groove, with driving rhythms against dynamic groove and infectious vocal feel from hooks and phrasing from lead singer Warwick. This first track makes a solid first impression delivering catchy melody and impressive vocal accents from Warwick. Track 2 “Missing You” serves-up another strong piece of music combining melodic guitar ambience with impassioned vocal passion that methodically flows and ebbs its way through emotional fruition with a grand slam chorus. Track 3 “Secret Eyes” presents more poppy, sing songy rock flair combining mesmerizing melodic guitar and impassioned feel that leads you head first into an amazing vocal finale. As the CD slowly unfolds I can hear many different musical textures reminiscent of classic The Script, They Fray, OneRepublic, LIfehouse, Augustana, Parachute and Snow Patrol. Despite my attempt at pigeonholing it needs to be said their sound is highly original with some amazing songwriting and top flight production value. At times to me they sound like a modern version of America. All songs present a melodic Pop-Rock staple that is tight and goes down clean. The music has everything you would expect from a 5 piece rock band solid low end rock grooves, driving distorted rhythm guitar with catchy piano, keyboards, melodic vocals and impressive harmonies all built upon a thick as a brick rhythm foundation. The vocal style of Warwick goes down smooth and fills the space peacefully and unobtrusively. He’s got an amazing vocal timber and appealing vibrato and falsetto to boot. Warwick takes many impressive vocal risks along the way indicating to me a strong and confident vocal ability. All engineering aspects check out as the CD provides thick low end punch and crystal clear high end clarity. As the CD slowly reveals more and more to you its obvious Feral Ghost is an accomplished rock band that is fun to listen to providing catchy melodies and a solid rock feel with messages that are straight from the heart. If these guys had a solid live presentation they would indeed be even more deadly. All songs themselves are solid across the board with the lyrical content that is short and sweet, even providing flashes of clever conventional wisdom and passion. From heartfelt “Am, to bluesy “We are Alive” to rocking Gabrielle” to rock steady “Show Your Love” The CD ends with Track 10 “Wednesday’s Child” the perfect final statements for an EP like this.
I wish there were more solo segments throughout. With 10 songs the CD is a bit short-sided. Perhaps 3-or 4 more songs are needed to make it a full loaded CD release.
After checking out “A Gathering Storm” by Feral Ghost I abandoned any hopes of finding any serious flaws. This CD is an impressive debut statement that clearly proves this band is a force to be reckoned with in UK and beyond. I especially like how the songs are quite dynamic and danceable yet still maintain strong marketability and melodic structure.