So who exactly is Ghost of the Robot, you ask? They’re a multi-genre band based in Los Angeles, California. Their music ranges from pop-rock to hard rock to metal with a bit of country thrown in for good measure. How exactly do I know about this band? I have a crush on the lead singer.
That’s right, people. James Marsters from Buffy is the lead singer and guitar for Ghost of the Robot. It’s basically his band, one that he started with his friend Charlie de Mars. Kevin McPherson, Jordan Latham, and James’s son Sullivan make up the rest of the band.
To date, the band has 3 albums: Mad Brilliant, B-Sider, and Murphy’s Law. James Marsters also has 2 solo albums out. Bourgeois Faux Pas is available for pre-order on their site and hopefully it’ll be available on Spotify soon. Until then, I’ll review the album and you decide if it’s worth pre-ordering.
Warning: I’m not a music expert so I don’t know what kind of instruments are being used. Plus, fangirl squee will ensue.
1) Hello “Hello” was the first single from this album. It’s an upbeat track about meeting someone for the first time with love being a definite potential maybe. When I listened to the single version of this, it evoked memories of when I met James Marsters at Comicpalooza. And no, I’m still not over it! The vocals and instrumentals are great in this track and I like the lyrics. It’s a great opening track that has an excellent electric guitar outro.
2) Back To Act Too When I checked up on the news surrounding the album, the band said that different members of the band would sing lead in different songs. This is the first instance of that. This song is pop-rock, a breakup song that feels like it would belong in a beach movie. It’s a good track.
3) Three This was where I said to myself “Okay, I’m officially dead!” because James Marsters’s voice is distinct in this song. The song reminds me so much of Spuffy in Season 6, specifically, the angst that Spike feels about Buffy having the weight of the world on her shoulders and using him just to feel something. It’s a touching ballad and yes, I am melting as I type this.
4) Mother of Peril This song starts out slow and then goes into a hard rock intro. Lyrically, it’s a bit confusing, but it picks up towards the second half. I like the fake out outro guitar bridge. The music evokes a feeling of sadness, like a relationship issues kind of song, and yet there’s a bit of hope in it.
5) Bad This is one of the songs originally from James Marsters’s solo albums. This is what I call the “hard rock remix” version of the song. I still giggle when I listen because the song is basically a bad boy anthem, but the echos of the electric guitars almost drown out the vocals here. Otherwise, I think it would be great to hear live and I love the new bridge. He may be bad, but he does it so well.
6) All That She Wanted The song has uplifting instrumentals, but the song itself a post-breakup song about a guy kicking himself about not treating his girl right. It has a great beat (bass line?) with a repetitive chorus that is likely gonna get stuck in my head all week. There’s an awesome electric guitar solo midway through the song. It’s basically lyrical dissonance in the best way possible.
7) Why Do We Love The song begins with a vocal harmony. The first thing I notice is that the first verse gives way to a counterpoint duet in the chorus. The song itself wonders what love is and why people experience it. It’s not an easy thing to figure out, sad to say, and the song doesn’t answer the question that it brought up but the song’s outro is fantastic.
8) Katie This is another song originally from James Marsters’s solo albums. The band performs this live at their concerts and the remix evokes that showy concert feel, with more hard rock style instrumentals. I can imagine myself in a crowd dancing along to the song. Lyrically, the song talks about a girl named girl who has a lot of tattoos and might have a boyfriend but it’s never certain but the singer is definitely interested. I still prefer the version on the solo album, but again, I think this song would be great to hear live.
9) The Weight This song is sadly a huge contrast from the rest of the album. It sounds like a Pink Floyd track in the middle of a Journey album. The lyrics are kind of Holden Caulfield-esque talking about phonies, but the words go by too fast for me to really understand. The vocals are almost hard to understand because they yell out a lot of the lyrics. It’s not my favorite track.
10) Fall Away This is a rock ballad, more emphasis on the vocals than on the instrumentals. It starts with a mix of piano and guitar (I think). The lyrics don’t really make a lot of sense though. They sound like words scattered in a dream, like a musical version of a surrealist movie. The vocals turn into outright yelling for a bit halfway through the song, but there’s some harmonizing towards the end. But just when you think the song is about to end, there’s a bit of vocalizing and music that outros out the song instead. Overall, the song feels like a dream.
11) Dark Matter The first thing you hear is the sound of water with island instruments that quickly get drowned out by the hard rock guitars and drums. The other thing you notice in this song is that there is a female backup singer in this song. I honestly don’t know who that mysterious female singer is. I almost wished that they made a Game of Thrones shout out with them saying “You are my sun and stars,” but then again, I’m not a Game of Thrones fan. The lyrics evoke a love song that would belong in a space opera. The song itself is a great closer to the album.
Overall, the album gets an 8/10 for me. My favorite album from Ghost of the Robot is still Murphy’s Law. And some fans of the band are mixed about this one. Ultimately, though, I hope that the album comes out on Spotify so that you can listen and see if it’s a keeper.