Ghosts and Vodka - Memento Mori

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"First, lets get the ugly stuff out of the way. Not everything that Ghosts & Vodka committed to tape was gold. Acoustic tracks like "Andrea Loves Horses" and "Nicholas Prefers Dinosaurs", which bookend their Precious Blood full length, act as little more than fluff. Though the playing is competent, the tracks don't move beyond nice-sounding filler.

Despite the virtuosity of Villareal's handiwork, there are moments when songs are just so overloaded with technical guitar work that the hooks are lost in the guitar showcasing. "Sex Is Popular" and "Hot Dot Above, Tan Man Below" sadly suffer this fate. "Conversational All-Stars" and "Mechanical Bull Rider" are also defeated as failed experiments in creating "atmosphere".

So, now you're saying to yourself, "Six of these sixteen tracks are duds! Kevin, where's the beef?" Well, I'm here to tell you that the remaining songs alone are worth the price. If you're a guitarist, you will be shamed, and if you enjoy a good rock tune you may find your neck sore from repeated head banging. Best of all, Drunks & Addicts is a silver disc with one helluva party contained on it.

"Futuristic Genitalia" is just plain ridiculous in how good it is. There are enough pull-offs in the lead riff that I'm sure Jimi Hendrix is looking down from rock 'n' roll heaven and giving his respects. "Is That A Person?" feels like an outtake from Don Caballero's masterful II. The beautiful middle act of this song contains some breathtaking distorted harmonics vying for equal attention alongside some thunderous riffing. "Cowboys and Sailors", from the Memento Mori seven-inch single, is a pop gem that sounds like Eddie Van Halen jamming with Braid. It's delightfully catchy but still finds moments to knock your jaw clean to the floor."

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