Ghost Top 10


Top 10 Cockeyed Ghost tracks (and one cover)

If you only ever hear 10 Cockeyed Ghost songs (well, 11), here are the ones to know:

About Jill (1995):

The first single and the first track on the band's debut album, Keep Yourself Amused, Cockeyed Ghost comes thundering out of the gate with a song that seems to burst out of the speakers. Erstwhile Ghost drummer Paul Presson makes his brief presence felt on this track, and check out bassist Rob Cassell's vocal on the middle-eight. Behind the ferocious track lies dizzying wordplay the exemplifies songwriter Adam Marsland's desire to write a punk-pop version of a Gilbert & Sullivan song. Hear it here.

Disappear (1996):

Once dubbed (but sadly not in a published article) by a celebrated music writer as "the greatest driving song ever written," "Disappear"'s chorus - sung in unison by Adam and bassist Rob Cassell - soars equally with pop melody and yearning. Hear it here.

At The Bookstore (1996):

Initially not highly rated by its writer Adam Marsland, the comparatively mellow "At The Bookstore" became one of his most enduring compositions. He later rerecorded it in a Philly Soul style, but the original maintains a plaintive intensity that channels the best of '90s post-grunge angst into its own emotional concerns. Hear it here.

Halo Boy (1997):

"Halo Boy" sums up what was best about the early Cockeyed Ghost lineup: heavenly intertwined dual falsetto vocals, an acerbic outsider lyrical viewpoint, and an absolutely thrashing performance. If you like your pop with a healthy dose of fuzz, it does not get much better than this track. Hear it here.

Special (1997):

As sweet as cotton candy, "Special"'s unabashed romantic imagery and sugary (but complex) pop melodicism were the first sign that Cockeyed Ghost had more on its mind than beating you into submission. As usual with the early Cockeyed Ghost tracks, Rob & Adam's blended falsetto vocals nail the hook to the wall. Hear it here.

Walk On By (1998):

Largely criticized and ignored on its release, Cockeyed Ghost's anguished demolition of the Bacharach classic is the audio representation of a band at the end of its tether, with Adam and Rob (in his last recording with the group) turning in authentically stressed and impassioned vocal performances. Check out the "Eleanor Rigby"-styled break (performed by Rob and girlfriend Maggi Domke) and the "fuck you" interlude of electrical noise. Hear it here.

The Fates Cry Foul (1999):

Quirky and ebullient, more than any other track from The Scapegoat Factory "The Fates Cry Foul" signals that Cockeyed Ghost's move away from hard rock did not come at the expense of any of the band's unique lyrical perspectives or musical idiosyncracies. Hear it here.

"Ludlow 6:18" (2001)

The title track to the band's final album is a rough-hewn, desert-obsessed ode to goodbyes and lost dreams, and sets the table for the band's finest album. Hear it here.

"Karma Frog" (2001)

A wannabe kindercore track that fuses the later band's careening rough edges and bittersweet harmonies into a complex indie pop statement of purpose, with lyrics about karma and retribution that belie the song's sweet melodic hook. Hear it here.

"How Can You Stand It" (2001)

In the (futile) pursuit of a hit single for Ludlow 6:18, songwriter Adam Marsland instead conjures up an epic meditation-cum-meltdown of impending midlife crisis, culminating into a massive breakdown and catharsis on its final minute. Hear it here.

"Ginna Ling" (2001)

Probably the indisputed finest song in Cockeyed Ghost's catalog (or at least the most moving), the band creates a falsetto-laden heavy pop confection that lulls you into a falls sense of security before emotionally gut punching you in the heart-rending midsection, culminating in an intense, harrowing finale. Hear it here.