Ghost Town Trio
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Ghost Town Trio


Band Alternative Punk


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It’s Time The Old Dog’s Dead EP (self Released) (out of print)
Lose Your Voice (Self Released)
Have You Heard? (Team Science Records)



Named for the industrial wasteland of a city whose heyday has come and gone, Ghost Town Trio stalked forth from their respective basements as fiercely indie townies from the college town of Oberlin, Ohio. With music that recalls the early 90s pop punk of Green Day and the Get Up Kids, and an attitude that lusts for simpler times, Ghost Town Trio are, at heart, a classic garage band success story.

Formed in Oberlin in 2005, Ghost Town Trio began as the high school band of friends-since-childhood singer Andy Cook and drummer Justin Mitchell. When it came time to pick a bassist, the choice was obvious: Garyn Jones, the kid whose dad taught Andy to play guitar. It’s been relentless touring, writing, and recording since then, and the guys of Ghost Town Trio love every minute of it. Sums up singer Cook, “You’re meeting interesting people and playing music every night. We just love doing it.” Laughs Cook, “We never really thought of doing anything else.”

Unlike contemporary punk outfits that go for slick, overproduced sounds, Ghost Town Trio place themselves in another time -- in music, in history, and in age. This is lo-fi, and it’s alive. This is college rock making a comeback. This is grime and sweat and dusty vans. This is music to skateboard to and skank to and chill out on the couch and drink Tab to, it’s the kind of music you used to put on mixtapes for your friends. This is what kids were calling emo back when emo didn’t suck.

There’s the driving train track riffs, the infectious drums, the anthemic choruses, and at the mic, lead singer Andy Cook doing that half-spat, half-snarled, not-quite-a-British-accent punk rock rebel yell. “I have a soft spot in my heart for pop punk,” admits Cook, who calls Ghost Town Trio’s traditional three-piece lineup “limited in the right ways”. Working with the raw materials of straight-ahead garage rock instruments, the boys construct simple, catchy melodies with as little tech trickery as possible. The result: a stripped down, gritty, “it is what it is” sound.

Fans of pop punk, indie, rockabilly, alternative and old school will find something to love about Ghost Town Trio. And their influences may shock you: “Motown motown motown!” is the latest on Ghost Town Trio’s playlist. “We love motown. And good rock and roll.” Bassist Garyn Jones name checks Zeppelin, the Foo Fighters, and the Band. “We love the Band,” gushes Cook. “And you know who else? Sheryl Crow. Sheryl Crow in the 90s was the fuckin’ shit.”

A relatively young band, Ghost Town Trio already have three releases to their name, not to mention a loyal family of fans, thanks to their roots in the DIY punk scene, word-of-mouth, and their near-maniacal gig schedule. Last year’s Have You Heard? tour took them cross-country to over fifty cities, where they played in basements and living rooms and bedroom-sized bars to crowds of this generation’s punk rock protégés, many still relying on mom for rides to shows. Before that, Ghost Town Trio spent some time on the west coast, where they self-released two EPS, It’s Time the Old Dogs Dead and Lose Your Voice, even snagging a nomination for Best Independent Rock Group in the 2006 LA Music Awards. Ultimately, though, the homesick Ohioans packed it up and headed back east to cut their first full-length record on Reversed Image Unlimited.

The title of their new LP, The Lost American Romance, really says it all. “It’s almost talking about passion and love that used to be in our society that we’re not seeing anymore,” says bassist Garyn Jones. Adds Cook, “It’s like throwing rocks at a bedroom window, or winning someone’s heart with a song.” There’s a certain nostalgia and timelessness about Ghost Town Trio’s music that invites comparisons to Buddy Holly, the Replacements, and fellow blue-collar hero Bruce Springsteen. With definitive tracks “Big Fish, Big Problems” and “High Hopes for Hungry Hearts” titled in the wry indie tradition, Ghost Town Trio may be looking to reprise the 50s look and feel of their last LP. No wonder producer Michael Seifert calls Ghost Town Trio’s upcoming release “a very classic record”. There are even whispers of the band cutting the new tracks absolutely live, with zero frills in the studio. And of course, you can bet the album will be released on vinyl.

For the guys of Ghost Town Trio, it all comes full circle -- to friends, fans, and family, and the city all three call home. There’s no mistaking the hometown pride that permeates Ghost Town Trio’s sound and drives the heart of their most personal songs. Even the band’s name, Ghost Town Trio, was fashioned in Cleveland’s dubious honor. “Cleveland’s sort of a ghost town,” laughs Cook. “Her days of wine and roses are over. Still, it’s ours, and it’s home... You just want to tell people about where you came from.”

So, how do three high school kids from a nowhere town become one of the best-loved bands in the Midwest? The secret, as they say, is simple: “Stay true,” Cook says sagely, “