Jesse Cash of Erra has been working on a new side project for months known as Ghost Atlas. This project is stated to be for fans of Circa Survive, Saosin, The Mars Volta and Deftones. Ghost Atlas currently only has two members so far: Jesse Cash, who tracked all of the guitars, bass and vocals, and Alex Ballew, who tracked all of the drums. Recently they released their debut EP Gold Soul Coma: Vol. 1, which is the first of two volumes, each with four tracks. Ghost Atlas has joined the slew of musicians who have cleverly self-funded and produced every aspect of their music. After encountering several issues with iTunes, however, they were forced to release the EP through Bandcamp.
The first track off of Gold Soul Coma: Vol 1 is “Elixir of Life”. This song was released with a music video that is quite dark as it deals with an anti-suicide message. The lyrics definitely express the message, especially in the chorus “If you don’t know who you are at this point/find yourself something to lose/If you don’t know who you were before/disengage, start anew.” Cash’s vocals make this song incredibly catchy. The song “Glass Waves” follows with drums that truly set the tone for the high-energy chorus, while the instrumentals are quite emotional and intense. Both of these songs are a breath of fresh air and have been stuck in my head since their release.
The third track is “Skin Cult”, which discusses a sadomasochistic sexual experience that may as well be straight out of a “Twlight” fan fiction. Overall, the song is a little awkward. While the instrumentals work with the message and tone, the lyrics’ blatant sexuality may make people a bit uncomfortable:“Tell me, are you scared as I peel off your skin, slip right in, and stretch you out?” That verse made me a cringe a little. The last song, “Mood Ring”, is the album’s ballad. Jesse Cash states that it deals with the idea of losing the person he has been in love with for the past six years. It’s very beautifully written and is just slow enough to get the message across.
All in all, Ghost Atlas’ debut EP Gold Soul Coma: Vol. 1 is a success. It certainly sets Jesse Cash apart from Erra without losing his sound too much.