Saved By Radio
If you like hearing the same few words over and over, then Matthew Swann of extra happy ghost!!! won't disappoint. Listening to Modern Horses, the band's first album, you sometimes wonder if you've heard him repeat more lines than deliver new ones — all of them sung in a tone somewhere between rainy-Sunday-afternoon-moping-around and half-heartedly trying-to-wake-up-from-a-dream. By the time you get to the sixth repetition of "I want to get off," in "j23439", you'll be wishing he would just do it already so he'll leave you alone for a while.
Every song on the album suffers from excessive lyrical repetition, but the music itself isn't bad. Slow, subdued, and smooth, it sounds exactly like what you'd expect a band of depressed ghosts to come up with. Nothing on this CD is happy — let alone "extra" happy — but it does convey some convincingly strong emotion.
The final track, the eponymous "Modern Horses," is about nine horses that jumped off a Calgary bridge in 2005, and it manages to sound exactly like the depressed love child of sadness, hopelessness, and regret — an accomplishment that doesn't completely redeem the overall repetitiveness of the record, but still makes it an intriguing listen.