Originally created 01/19/01

Ghost Script returns to old musical haunts

The abandoned storefront on Ninth Street has seen its share of local music history. For well over a decade it has served as a practice space, crash pad and part-time venue for an endless parade of Augusta bands.

For members of Augusta power trio Ghost Script, taking up residence there is a homecoming of sorts.

Like the ramshackle epicenter of Augusta's music scene, the members of Ghost Script have seen a fair share of music history on Ninth Street. As musicians and fans, they can trace their roots back to a time when their stalwart practice room was a new fixture for area musicians.

"I first met my wife right over there, about 15 years ago," said drummer Brian Allen, pointing to a dark corner of the room. "She was 16."

Although the band may wax nostalgic about its Ninth Street home, Mr. Allen and bandmates Todd Bernier and Lance McAnly have made a concerted effort to break with the past and carve a niche in the current music scene.

"We came from old-school, psychedelic Augusta punk," Mr. Allen said, "so our previous bands had a lot of noodling and noise. We came into this project thinking that the songs should come first and that this time we wanted to concentrate on making music."

It's a sound that the trio is ready to unleash. Saturday, it will open for Deathstar at the Soul Bar.

Although the three members knew they wanted a more classic, structured feel to their music, they approached the band as a pure democracy, with each member shouldering a share of the writing, arranging and performance responsibilities. This led to some uncertainty as to what Ghost Script's final sound might be.

"We really came into this with nobody having an idea of exactly where we were going," said guitarist Mr. Bernier. "We come together and all just do what we do best and play the way we each love to play."

The result is a power trio in the purest sense of the word. Featuring melodic bass work, wall-of-sound guitar and a metronome-steady back beat, Ghost Script recalls the classic sound of trios past - part Husker Du, part Who and part R.E.M. It is a sound for which bass player Mr. McAnly professed a certain fondness.

"Trios are raw," he said. "When you play in a trio there is always going to be that raw edge. It's the nature of trios. And that rawness, of course, is what makes rock 'n' roll."

While Ghost Script is unafraid of cranking up the amps and its members have infused their lyrics with poignant recollections of relationships gone wrong, Mr. Allen said it will be the power of the Big Pop Hook that endears Ghost Script to audiences.

"I think when we hook people, we'll hook them with music," he said. "Maybe down the road they'll connect with the sentiments, but what I want is for people just to connect and share a cathartic moment. That's really the best you can expect."

On stage

What: Ghost Script, opening for Deathstar

When: 10:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: The Soul Bar, 984 Broad St.

Admission: $2 after 10:30 p.m.

Phone: 724-8880

Reach Steven Uhles at (706) 823-3626 or suhles@hotmail.com.


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