Followed by Ghosts
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Followed by Ghosts

Cedar Falls, Iowa, United States | INDIE

Cedar Falls, Iowa, United States | INDIE
Band Rock


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Followed by Ghosts - Dear Monsters, Be Patient "Its a travesty that Followed by Ghosts remain unsigned""

To say that life isn’t always easy for post-rock artists – particularly unsigned ones – is something of an understatement. Seldom straying above the bread line, band members toil at work all day and spend much of their spare time – and cash – gigging and producing albums that very few people will ever hear. Radio play is unlikely at best, so most acts will have to content themselves with playing the music they love to a core of die-hard fans. Thus, it was an enterprising move by Iowan quartet Followed by Ghosts to accede to the inevitable and post free download links to their new, commercially-available album on various music forums – a move which I truly hope will pay dividends in the long run. Such gestures certainly can’t do any harm in endearing themselves to instrumental lovers, providing that the music itself is of a reasonable quality. Followed by Ghosts have nothing to fear, though; it would have to be a feat to improve upon their debut album, 2007’s The Entire City Was Silent, but from the very first play of Dear Monsters, Be Patient, it is obvious that the band has developed an altogether more mature and refined sound, surpassing all expectations with the greatest of ease.

From the rousing dawn chorus that heralds the beginning of the album in “5.52am” – surely sufficient to provide anyone foolish enough to be awake at this unearthly hour with une raison d'être – to that which brings it to a close again in “Be Patient,” Dear Monsters, Be Patient is a masterful lesson in “traditional” post-rock from start to finish. Cymbals crash and crescendos abound, contributing to an uplifting experience that, while perhaps not adding anything particularly new to the genre, proves that the band are easily capable of competing with the more established instrumental artists. Undoubtedly, some people will be quick to criticise Followed by Ghosts for exactly the same reasons that they appeal to others – seldom straying from the formulaic, with a smattering of delay, a touch of tremolo and a smorgasbord of LOUD NOISES. But we’ve been in this position so many times before that I no longer feel the need to justify my love of such music.

“Riga” opens with a sample of birdsong, as heard in the first and last tracks (suggesting either a Hitchcock influence or a degree of ornithophilia amongst band members), and features some simple yet infectious guitar lines, with a trumpet joining the affray just as the climax is reached. Admittedly, it’s nothing that Foxhole hasn’t already done, but it is a prime example of the exacting craftsmanship found in each of the seven tracks.

“All is Lost” is an apparent contradiction in terms: an inspirational song. Chiming guitars and regimented drums give rise to a tremulous, two-minute crescendo, which fades out to almost nothing. Then, like a phoenix from the flames, a hauntingly beautiful melody emerges, with interplay between the guitars and a violin. In an abstract way, it’s vaguely reminiscent of Explosions in the Sky’s “Day 6,” and certainly has the same emotive qualities.

I must say, though, that I have one gripe – albeit a minor one – with this album. Followed by Ghosts promised on their MySpace page that “whale noises” would feature in Dear Monsters, Be Patient. However, to my utmost disappointment, possibly through lack of erudition as far as the making the distinction between guitar effects and marine mammal sounds is concerned, I’m not convinced I can hear them. Perhaps they’re audible when “Riga” merges seamlessly into “Showdown at High Noon” – a passage which sounds uncannily similar to the mid-section of “Dead Flag Blues” by Godspeed You! Black Emperor.

At this juncture, I’d like to reiterate the point made by the Rt. Honourable James Crossan in his review of their debut, as I’m somewhat incredulous that no record labels have picked up on this salient fact: it is a travesty that Followed by Ghosts remain unsigned. I like to think that a promise to the band’s fans (i.e. “monsters” – don’t deny it, I’m sure you’ve been called worse!) is implicit in the title of the album – that the best is yet to come. I certainly hope so; all signs point to a rosy future for Followed by Ghosts. Patience is, as they say, a virtue, but I for one will be restive in anticipation of their follow-up, and I wouldn’t blame you for feeling the same. - The Silent Ballet

"Followed by Ghosts - The Entire City Was Silent"

Score: 8/10

I am a firm believer that no great art was borne of happiness, I don’t how or why I came to this conclusion – it’s just something I feel. Which leads me to quote something once said by some mug in Hamlet - "When sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions". Followed By Ghosts from Waverly, Iowa have encapsulated the sound of that battalion approaching from over a grassy knoll, with a skyline breached by banners and spearheads.

They come in the name of the fallen, with a force ten fold, kicking in the door of heaven. Not as musicians, but as disciples of something otherworldly sent to initiate the masses, dancing on the very grave of life itself before it’s even dead. Their latest endeavor, The Entire City Was Silent, is a behemoth, a leviathan of fuzz and drizzled feedback, and majestic like slow motion tape-breaker footage from a city marathon, the Angel Falls, or a battlefield sky victorious. It swells with emotion in places with a musical scope that ranges from the quietly subtle to bombastic bravado, with a pervading taste of sweet melancholy ever-present, like pride and nobility in the face of impending doom. It is a soundtrack for when underdogs become kings, anthems for the lost, saves-the-day-gets-the-girl music, and songs for watching comets to; the list is endless but all within it encompass that surging blissful feeling of hope, the physician of all misery.

To be perfectly honest, I don’t know where to start as there are so many endearing attributes to highlight. Initially lulled into a false sense of security by “Hymn Of Twilight,” I’m rendered speechless by “A Mirthful Experience” with distortion like Teslas’ earthquake machine. It freezes my heart like liquid nitrogen and smashes it into a million crystalline pieces. Clocking in at over nine minutes, “Clear Blue Sky” offers a reprieve of sorts until a sense of urgency kicks in. A paroxysm of emotion ensues in a slowly building crescendo which peaks with a ferociousness that could tear the very fabric of reality itself. Regardless of its gargantuan timescale, it’s by no means boring and probably one of the best tracks on the album. It breaks at the five minute mark in what initially sounds like a solitary E-Bowed guitar that is hauntingly beautiful and gives the piece a whole new dimension and direction. A fixed fulcrum from which the album revolves around – impeccably consistent and completely breathtaking stuff. Behold, the Illuminati.

Each track bears its own idiosyncratic qualities and character, as if obsessed over like a musical Frankenstein which has slowly been brought to life in accordance to the prophecies. “City Of Noise” is the slightly introspective twin of “Clear Blue Sky,” also swallowing whole another nine minutes but leaves us yearning more. Time appears unrestrictive with no detail spared from the brief to the seemingly endless and epic. The awkward, yet captivating piano of “A New Dawn” gives way to tremulous guitar, like the first shimmering rays of light. There’s a sense of something growing or coming to life – a sense of becoming culminating with delicious feedback and fuzz that heralds the climax. A fitting, piano-centric closer that leaves a sweet aftertaste and promises the advent of amazing things is found within “The Entire City Was Silent.” Falling somewhere between 65daysofstatic’s “Radio Protector” & “Furnace” by Troubles, it incites a desire within me to start from the top and play everything right through once more for posterity. If FBG maintain this momentum a few cities will fall silent to there resounding knell I’ll wager – I for one will answer the call.

A maturity exists that belies their collective experience, with an amazing sense of individual awareness within the band – never overstepping or overcrowding each other in sound. They allow each the necessary space to shine, and shine they do, like a carbon arc searchlight. Symbiotic guitars weave smoothly executed melodies, metallic shimmerings that swell to blistering crescendos. Littered with start-stop syncopation and percussion that marches into the ether, FBG is somewhat reminiscent to they whose name I dare not speak in these parts, you know who I'm talking about. With masterful instrumental pieces of oscillating fretwork and crisp percussion, The Entire City Fell Silent is an intricate and transcendental collection of music that is as rare as a Dodo sighting.

This is majestic post-rock, brooding, apocalyptic, and yet often delicate, peppered with subtle changes and melodic nuances that steal the very breath. The album title itself suggests imagery of a populous place lain to waste by some fantastical force that dwarfs Hiroshima, or a burning cross perhaps suspended in an anthracite sky raining tongues of fire on a day of final judgment. Everything works cohesively, songs titles, artwork, band name and musicianship. Imaginative, inventive, ambitious and all beautifully interweaved into a Technicolor soundscape. Like a moth to a lightbulb, I’m suspended in the blinding brilliance - trance-like, a devotee.

I offer a quip pilfered from Hunter S Thompson as a final note - "The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs" - Blatantly misquoted and molded with reckless abandon, but nonetheless a fitting statement. That these guys are not already signed is an absolute heresy, I feel like setting fire to myself in protest, while sitting cross-legged with my eyes closed. A cracking album, I can't recommend it enough. - The Silent Ballet

"Followed by Ghosts - Dear Monsters, Be Patient"

Musicianship 9
Production 8
Creativity 7.25
Lasting Value 8.25
Reviewer Tilt 8.5

People seem to enjoy walking in circles. Familiar scenery, familiar faces, familiar footprints, each allows us to sleep just a smidge easier. Spoiler alerts are a welcomed way of life. And Followed by Ghosts know this. Well, most post-rock bands know this. It’s a style that usually illuminates its intended path much too soon. The instruments are slowing, quieting, building; a climax is imminent. Guessing when to pay attention during an Explosions In The Sky song, for example – This is not where I say FBG sound like EITS – isn’t exactly a difficult procedure, in fact it’s almost scientific. But on Dear Monsters, Be Patient, you might, and I mean just might, be taken off guard once in a while. You may not always recognize where you’re going, but put a little faith in me when I say, you’ll fall in love with the beautiful, new destinations ahead.

Followed by Ghosts’ quick switches into the unknown won’t necessarily frighten like the album title suggests, but it will magnify instrumental music’s oft-overlooked free-spiritedness. “Dear Monsters,” wastes little time with the twittering of intro “5:52 AM” and almost immediately erupts into flurried guitars. This screeching continues right to the brink of irritation before quieting again. FBG’s don’t-relax-yet style plays out like one of those M. Night Shyamalan movies you claim to hate but actually love. (Lady in the Water changed my life.) “Riga” once again continues the nature/bird motif, and this time Followed By Ghosts choose to ease us into chaos. Bending guitar riffs signal the unexpected usage of regal trumpets that lead eerie guitars and military-precise drums. Ringing bells complete the equation by adding drama and bigger-than-music atmospheres. The pace can change at breakneck speeds here, well, as breakneck as a 5-minute song can be.

“Showdown at High Noon”, not surprisingly, hits the hardest in its climax. Snare taps and Jordan Bancroft-Smithe’s trembling bass alert us to upcoming pastures full of head-banging and foot-stomping. This short but energetic movement leads us into a finalizing trilogy of 7 minute wonders, most notably among them being “All Is Lost.” (Not exactly the happiest of song titles, and this does remind me of EITS’ latest.) Once again we begin lightly, which as you may have guessed by now, is meant to mislead, to throw smoke in our face and hide the truth. The song goes from soft to medium to very soft to loud to LOUD. And we never know where or when it will happen. Even the climax builds upon itself longer than expected, and all the while drums and guitars hit pitches and decibels we didn’t think possible for the band. We are made to wait, salivate and contemplate. What does it all mean? Why don’t we get what we expected? Then it hits you; that’s why: “If I wanted to know beforehand, I would’ve listened to This Will Destroy You’s music-by-numbers!”

And yeah, fans of the band know this isn’t completely different or a 180 from FBG’s old record. But the way they take restrictions and turn them into cliffhangers or subplots is more than enough to keep me excited. And as long as Followed by Ghosts. keep moving from point A to point B - but only by taking a detour through point E - I’ll keep listening with the attention span of someone twice my maturity level. - Absolute Punk


'The Entire City was Silent' LP 2007
'Dear Monsters, Be Patient' LP June 26, 2008



Followed by Ghosts started as many bands do: a side project. This has changed, and the instrumental post-rock band from the heartland of the USA, released their first record in the fall of 2007. After receiving many positive reviews on multiple websites and niche forums, the band decided to put out their second LP in 2008.
They have booked two successful tours on their own: their first staying in the midwestern states, and their second, going out to the east coast.
In the time that they have been together, they have been fortunate enough to have music featured on HBO during the Emmy winning 24/7 series, a feature length documentary entitled WAKE UP, and the 2011 season finale of ABC's Dancing with the Stars.
The band is currently working on releasing their newest record, which is expected to be out in by November 2011.
For streaming of Followed by Ghosts full records, visit