Damn! It sure is exciting when you hear music that actually makes you feel something primal and Baltic to Boardwalk’s Ghost Towns is about as cathartic as it gets, brother. If gut-level punk rock is your predilection, I highly doubt you’ll be disappointed. Straight out of the gate, the opening track “This Is Who I Am” pummels you with a savage earnestness that’s rare in a day and age where ‘anxiety’ has sort of lost it’s edge, due in part to being the go-to emotion in alternative music. Emotion has even become a dirty word of sorts, but gosh dang it (pardon my terse language) Baltic to Boardwalk packs these five tracks with a high-pitch, emotional, ferocity that borders on painful at times…and I mean that in a good way.
“Apt. 309 (A Boy and his Dog)” follows suit, introducing a sweeping change of dynamics. The song drags you through a range of lows and highs, with lyrics like “I’ve never felt so helpless in my entire life and probably never will again!” sang with such forcefulness one can’t help but feel that this is the real deal and the severity of lines like “I just gotta figure out where to place all the blame, I’ll never be the same!” reinforcing that pain…like the band is picking at an irritatingly, inflamed scab and will stubbornly continue to do so for the next three tracks. “Screaming at the Sky” laments plans that never came to fruition with an intense ferociousness and believability to the music and vocals, giving one a sense that this all means something…what, I have no idea! But that’s alright by me, ’cause it’s epic as all Hell! Yep, I said epic.
The guitars are raw, the vocals are wonderfully snotty at times, and the rhythms and bass lines are tight as a phony Hollywood starlet’s facelift! “Sleeping at the Lakebed” and “Ghost Towns” rap up the disc with an emphasis on raw emotion that almost comes across as fanaticism. Ghost Towns by Baltic to Boardwalk is going to receive many repeat listenings in my basement when I need a little reminder of how important punk rock and hardcore can truly be…especially on a local level! It’s available August 18th and you can get it that night at The New Direction. Otherwise it is available at baltictoboardwalk.bigcartel.com on iTunes.