Christopher Owens displayed splashes of talent on his groups last release album, however his back-story seemed like all anyone wanted to talk about. He won’t have to worry about that when it comes to Father, Son, Holy Ghost as Owens and crew have constructed a fantastic slice of identifiable Indie-Rock. Where Album seemed to be casting a wide net trying to catch a style, Father, Son, Holy Ghost deals with a theme of love and loss in a straight relationship narrative.
Love, excitement, boredom, loss, longing and growth, all play out amongst the lyrics and rich instrumentation placing the listener in the joyful/painful cycle. There aren’t any metaphors here just straight ahead emotion, the word “Love” may be sung more on Father, Son, Holy Ghost than any other popular release this year, while the titles of tracks say exactly what they mean, “Forgiveness”, “Magic” etc.
The progression starts with an off-kilter pop gem (which Owen’s possesses a knack for) “Honey Bunny” that keeps away the cliche via odd changes and sounds. The most confusing moment also comes early though with “Die,” a Black Sabbath (or maybe a more apt comparison here is Wolfmother), heavy metal experiment that drifts away via hard stoner rock and seems removed from the rest of the proceedings.
The downward spiral of despair and longing is found in “My Ma” and the highlight “Vomit” which is epic in it’s simplistic sense of longing and musical release. “Vomit” is expansive, heavy, melodic and reminds of Neil Young’s raw, cut-to-the-nerve style, containing plaintive moments and roaring electric heights. “Just A Song” starts the road to recovery with flutes and acoustic guitars, playing like dawn lazily escaping from night.
“Love Like A River” tries to reconcile the differences with a rich soulful sound, employing back-up singers to set the smooth tone, but keeping them in the background and not overpowering, a smart choice. “Jamie Marie” ends things not with a pretty bow yet with a rich musical flair and a accepted sense of loss “Maybe it’s alright/I mean, I went and found the modern world/but I miss the way life was/when you were my girl”.
The whole production envelops, from the layers of perfectly produced instrumentation to the quiet, emotional vocal performances, Father, Son, Holy Ghost has it all.