Tooth & Nail
Retrospective is a collection of tracks from Ghoti Hook’s 11 year career as one of Tooth & Nail’s most prolific bands. It’s kind of hard to tell (no press release and little information at the Tooth & Nail Web site) if this is a bunch of seven-inch & comp tracks, or if it’s just some kind of “greatest hits” type collection; I can tell you though, that it is a nice indicator of how the band has grown over the years. I can tell you another sad fact, as well: Ghoti Hook is no longer, as the band has decided to call it quits.
The early songs on Retrospective sound very much like mid career Bad Religion, with really awesome guitar lines and furious drumming (see “Scared Am I” in specific). The vocal harmonies are pure Greg Graffin, complete with the “ooohh, aaahhh” back up vocals. In the middle of the disc, the band does a delicious take on The Pixies’s “Where is My Mind?,” the best aspect of this version being that the band take very few liberties to stray from the original, and just rock out on the strength of the song itself (I L-O-V-E The Pixies). The album’s later material is much less speed punk, and more emotional rock, as evidenced by the Samiam-esque “One Step Away.” It is clear, as well, that Ghoti Hook is a much stronger and powerful band near their end; the beautiful “Lullaby” features a twinkly guitar line that gives way to a Bob Mould-ish chorus… awesome! I know the last two songs, “Chevy Nova” and “Next To Me” are from their last full length, and “Chevy Nova” is a full on rocker, while “Next To Me” is a fitting end to Retrospective; the song is long, building, dynamic, emotional and perfectly delivered.
It is truly sad to see a band that has made it 11 years together finally decide to quit. Ghoti Hook, in their later years, put out some truly innovative and compelling music. They may not have made the name for themselves that, say MXPX made for themselves, but the music speaks for itself. I highly suggest you check this out; it is a rather well done “retrospective” of a band that will be sorely missed.
Tooth & Nail Records: http://www.toothandnail.com