Artist: TS & The Past Haunts
Album: Gone & Goner
Label: No Sleep Records
It was while he was acting as the tour manager for the Duke Spirit that Travis Shettel, lyricist and front man for the now defunct Piebald, began to start writing new music. After recruiting the husband and wife duo of Heather and Ben Heywood to round out the rest of the band, Shettel was finally able to fully indulge his new musical project: TS & The Past Haunts. Their debut album Gone & Goner is an enjoyable blend of raw melodic guitars, crashing drums and all of which are seasoned with Shettel’s wry, clever lyrics.
The band recorded the album live, over a period of five days, giving the tracks a raw, natural feel. The album’s opening track, “East Jesus,” begins with a meandering guitar lick, ebbing in and out, before erupting in a bombastic wave of sludgy guitar, gritty ‘n’ sharp drums and Shettel proclaiming, “I still survive/I come to life.” Everything that is enjoyable and throw your fist into the air about Gone & Goner is exemplified in “East Jesus,” from its raw, live sound to Shettel’s energetic, emotive vocals.
The two most enjoyable tracks off of Gone & Goner display two distinct sounds. “Circumstance” is a straight forward rock ‘n’ roll while “All I Can Tell You” is Weezer-esque surf rock. “Circumstance” features sparse instrumentation during the verses, with only a bright and biting electric guitar and simple drum beat to accompany Shettel’s vocals. For the chorus where Shettel shouts, “there is also circumstance,” the guitars take on a heavy, gravel quality and the drums answer back with heavy bass. “All I Can Tell You” is comprised bright, bouncy surf rock guitar riffs with fast “chk, chk, chk” from the drums.
After multiple spins Gone & Goner is still fresh and incredibly enjoyable. Quit frankly, Gone & Goner is one of the best albums of the new year. Granted, it’s barely February, but Shettel and the talented Heywoods have crafted a near perfect rock ‘n’ roll album that just begs to be played through the car speakers.
Review written by: Ethan Merrick