A Haunting Performance from No One Sun
No One Sun’s 10 track album titled Ghosts follows in the footsteps of the likes of U2 and The Killers, with high intensity drums and a 70s guitar style reminiscent of The Strokes. Fans of such nostalgic guitar distortion may get a kick out of this album from this factor alone, as the band has clearly mastered this specific style of playing. Craig Warburton on drums has the speed and endurance to match the nostalgic drive that Nick Noone and Jamie Hewson bring to their sound via guitar and vocals. The song “Popping Sherbet” is the best high energy track off of the album, as it epitomises the aforementioned drumming and guitar playing qualities that No One Sun offers its listeners. Another huge asset of Ghosts is that it gets exponentially better the farther down the track list you go—I would strongly recommend starting from “Popping Sherbert,” moving onward to the end, and then working your way back up the album.
The aspect of Ghosts that prevents me from giving it a stronger recommendation is the inconsistent vocal performance. Nick Noone is by no means a bad singer, and his warm timbre is well suited for the lower register that he sticks to for a good portion of the tracks. Any sense of warmth is lost, however, once some of the higher notes are reached, as they can get a tad pitchy. Given the fact Noone’s strength is in his lower register, the choruses of several of the early tracks can be grating on the ear at times. That being said, such issues are only really prevalent in “Amnesia” and “Dreaming”—it’s just bizarre that No One Sun chose to start the album with some of its weaker tracks.
While one may be put off by its lack of intricate guitar playing or vocal dynamism, Ghosts makes its mark as a solid installment in the indie rock scene. Tracks such as “Lyra” take on a slower tempo, and keep to Noone’s lower register throughout, and capitalize on the warmth that is emanated from the combination of No One Sun’s best elements. Similarly, “I Just Want To Go Home” ends the album on a soothing note, with Noone’s lower register winning me over time and time again. On the opposite spectrum, the fourth track “Lemonade Shiver” and the previously mentioned “Popping Sherbert” pack enough high energy to emphasize Warburton’s downright impressive drum skills while keeping Noone in a vocal range that doesn’t allow for minor vocal mishaps.
If U2 and The Killers have found their way onto your playlist, then I’d strongly consider giving No One Sun’s Ghosts a listen. It may not necessarily strike a chord with you depending on your taste in vocals, but it’s worth picking up this third installment in the band’s legacy to see if their sound is as engaging for you as it was for me.