Ghost Mice - All We Got Is Each Other | Album Review | By Volume

Gotta get out, before my heart explodes. Candy Says - Not Kings
Ghost Mice - All We Got Is Each Other

Ghost Mice

All We Got Is Each Other

A folk punk gem which uses its unfailing frankness to work through tragedy and emerges resilient as a result.

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Author: on May 20, 2012
Plan-It-X Records
March 1, 2012

It takes guts and a special form of honesty to pen a record as straightforward but hard-hitting as All We Got Is Each Other. The Indiana folk punks underline raw emotion on their fourth full-length album in a way that few songwriters can; mortality, mental illness and community come into focus as Ghost Mice tunnel out from underneath the pain of a friend’s death with frank and beautiful incision, using just an acoustic guitar and a violin to navigate. The openness of these songs is as infectious as it is astounding; lead vocalist Chris Clavin is insightful without having to resort to metaphor or complex imagery, and his lyrical voice is the album’s most recognisable and endearing trait, making a semblance of sense where most people, let alone artists, would fail terribly to even open their mouths.

And this is the magic held by All We Got Is Each Other; it documents certain specific tales but never feels like a constructed narrative. It has no inherent order, but it wins some round as it plays out; first track “The Path” feels like a lament on some abstract happening, but by the time track nine swings around, the swirl of places and painful evenings have come together to form a tender overview of the story and its most telling cracks. It’s the folk punk record to end all, in some ways – the way it makes use of storytelling is so human, so unpretentious, and so accidental that it is easier to navigate than any chronological concept album.

All We Got Is Each Other is witty, too, when it wants to be, which is breathtaking given the album’s obvious baggage. “John and Jodie” is a charming, if brief, ode to slightly-crazy love, which closes with the line, “I want someone to want to assassinate a president for me.” And although for the most part Clavin and Hannah Jones (whose well-placed vocal harmonies round everything off gorgeously) aren’t nearly so carefree, the heaviest of subjects is treated in a similarly intelligent and grounded fashion. It all comes together as a superbly cohesive testament to a bucketload of potentially messy feelings, and, whether or not Clavin and Jones intended it, there’s a resolution of sorts, too. As closer “All Punks Got” makes abundantly clear, “all we got is each other” – well, that, and songs as pure as these.

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