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The Daily Tar Heel

Music Review: Gross Ghost

It’s apt that the first song on Gross Ghost’s Brer Rabbit is titled “Architect,” because after a few spins of this record, that term seems to describe the band members themselves. Enter exhibits A through J — rather, see these ten well-crafted, structurally sound tracks and marvel at how masterfully the group can throw together a pop song.

And that semblance of ease — the mix of effortless, grimy melodies a la Pavement and the poetic lyricism — is part of what makes Brer Rabbit so compelling. Most of these songs are compact and springy and last just a little over two minutes. All contain a striking sense of self-possession and urgency that most bands with years under their belts can’t even master.

“Leslie” is a notable example of the things that Gross Ghost does so well. From the first line — “You told me all about your life / before you were my father’s wife” — you commit to the song’s relatability, to its sticky, memorable refrains, to its lyrics that evoke a conversation you shouldn’t overhear, but you lean in anyway.

Everything here feels private and real in a way that many pop songs don’t.

These are not just simple pop songs. There’s an artfulness to Brer Rabbit that’s often lacking on tracks as catchy as these, yet every one of these ten songs reeks of earnestness, thoughtfulness and truth.

Sometimes reality is hard to stomach, but when it’s coated in Gross Ghost’s brand of gritty pop, it’s a pill you’ll be more than willing to swallow.

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