Before the Night’s Around Me (Bluefog)

Unfortunately, I’m not familiar with The Deadly Snakes, and I’m not familiar with Andre Ethier’s solo work, so please don’t ask me for any comparisons. As far as Snakes’ bassist Chad Ross’ side project Ghoststory is concerned, though, I can point y’all in the right direction. Right off the bat, it’s hard not to feel cheated by the rootsy, pointless jam ethic in effect, which is probably fun to participate in, but meaningless as far as an audience is concerned. On the second listen, I noticed that the first song is about a captain who fell off his ship, drowned, and washed ashore, and I realized that maybe there was some promise hidden here. On the third listen it dawned that I was listening to a less fun Sadies coupled with a less interesting Red House Painters. Well, Before isn’t a total loss—the instrumental moments are great, and the song about the captain that drowns and washes ashore is entertaining (for the lyrics alone), but there just isn’t enough heart or variety to pull it all together into anything greater.