It’s hard to place Celestial Shore’s most recent effort into any particular musical box. “Enter Ghost” is equal parts post punk as it is math rock as it is noodly indie rock. The album’s opening track starts off with a pounding riff in alternating time signatures, yet still manages to maintain a very definitive pulse and rhythm, which a lot of math rock is often unable to do. This stands true for the rest of the songs on the album. No matter how experimental or strange of a time signature the band decides to play in, the rhythm and stride of the song is never interrupted and I always find myself nodding my head along as the bare-bones guitar riffs flow seamlessly into one another.
The second and third tracks, “Gloria” and “Now You Know” are some of the band’s most accessible tracks to date. In addition, both tracks place vocalist/guitarist Sam Owens’ lyricism at the forefront of the mix. The lyrics themselves are some of Owens’ most open, as he repeats the line “just in love with an idea” over instrumentation that maintains both glimmering beauty and abrasive chaos, as drummer Max Almario’s furious rhythms grow and build until falling apart gracefully at the song’s conclusion.
Celestial Shore are able to maintain this balance between chaos and simple beauty throughout the entirety of the album. Even on a song like “Same Old Cult Story”, which starts out with a very math-y post-punk riff, the band is able to reach a beautiful, glimmering euphoria by the song’s chorus. The flow and interplay between these two elements is truly what defines the band’s sound on “Enter Ghost”, an immense maturation from their previous album “10x” which featured a lot more dizzying time changes and math/jazz rock influence.
The highlight of the album is its fifth track “Weekenders” which features a dreamy, shoe-gaze influenced chorus that finds the three piece at their “biggest” sounding, and serves as an interesting contrast to the bare-bones instrumentation of the rest of the album. Overall, “Enter Ghost” shows Celestial Shore growing and maturing into a sound that they seem to be much more comfortable in. They are able to seamlessly blend a variety of genres, and escape the typical pitfalls that many other math rock bands find themselves trapped in. The band is able to blend together their bare-bones instrumentation and chaotic sound with much more accessible dream-pop and shoe-gaze elements that make for a truly unique album.