The Left Ready – Ghost
With the no nonsense statement of “We play rock music,” threaded into the band’s Facebook bio, The Left Ready are a power trio that do away with all the extras and just get down to meat n’ potatoes melodic hard rock. Originally the band performed as the Mike Murray Trio under the guidance of vocalist/guitarist Mike Murray but they soon decided the music that they were making was much more of a band effort than a solo deal. The band’s EP debut Ghost is crammed to the nines with hard guitar meat, tough rhythms and a vocal element that stretches up to the rafters. This is the kind of rock they used to make in the 70s with just the right amount of modern melodies and production present to give it a wide appeal.
Kicking off the EP in a road ready dust cloud “In Like a Lion” alternates between jangling, reverb-sprinkled guitars and fiery leads doused in vigor. Chris Krager’s bass lines are crystal clear, grinding against the perpetual motion gears of Joel Metzler’s precision time-keeping. This is practically a tribute to classic rock n’ roll and the vintage playing of the power trios of yore… somewhere between Wolfmother, Rival Sons and Led Zeppelin is where The Left Ready hang their boots. The darkened bluesy intro of “I Am a Ghost” makes use of understated keyboards and a shuffling, stomping drumbeat that eventually gives way to riff-y, hard-rock pyrotechnics where the lost art of the guitar solo isn’t forgotten. This jam will set your kitchen on fire if you don’t keep an eye on it while it’s cooking. All throughout Murray’s vocals are loaded with gunpowder and expressive bursts of his range.
“Will to Survive” is downright heavy, bringing to the table one thundering riff after another. The keyboards wail on this one but not nearly at the level which the sundering blues grooves rage at. This one blasts loud. Fans of everyone from the White Stripes to Joe Bonamassa should probably take note. It’s far more orchestral and pounding than anything the Stripes have done, while culling the powerhouse jamming of ol’ Joe to a succinct, straightforward hard-rock attack that is all about the bullhorn sonic intensity. Equally bred from solid yesteryear riffage, “Hell in a Handbasket” has no shortage of arena rock assault tactics up its sleeve. The album indeed goes “Out Like a Lamb” with the closing cut of the same name; an acoustic ballad that showcases The Left Ready’s skillset isn’t limited to the crash n’ smash heavy rock.
This is a fantastic EP. You can tell how seasoned this unit became and how much experience they’ve built up. The Left Ready has chops for days and they have what it takes to go up against any of their hard rock contemporaries. If you miss the red-hot energy of real old school rock n’ roll, Ghost should be just the music you’re looking for. Great stuff from the first note to the last!
9 out of 10 stars