Ginger - Dark Page Chronicles (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Dark Page Chronicles (2010)

Bells On

Ginger is a side project of the recently reviewed French skatepunk act Hogwash. They're largely treading the same ground, though: riffy, melodic skatepunk mostly in the Strung Out vein, with maybe a little bit of Pennywise. It's more coherent and concise than Hogwash, for sure, but also a little boring and white noisy, as Ginger is unable to replicate SO's pounding structures and thrilling melodies.

The first quartet of tracks on Dark Page Chronicles are mostly indiscernable. When "The Gunkanjima Syndrome" comes through, it's a little more attention-grabbing and head bob-worthy, despite this one weird Auto-Tuned moment that jumps out. Its follower, "From Freedom to Stardom" also proves just how no-frills this band is, and it's a positive trait for them, to be sure.

Still, there's not much going on on Chronicles that's terribly captivating, though moments here and there spark interest. "19" has some cool harmonizing and righteous guitars nodding to A Wilhelm Scream, and a more brute force guides "Eager Heartache" nicely. There's an ominous intro to closer "...To Outrodestruction" that foreshadows something cool, and in a rare glimpse of ambition it turns out to be an instrumental that acts as an instrumental release of tension for the album.

Overall, though, there's just not enough here to propel Ginger past "competent" to at least "pretty good." The background in the liner notes with song explanations are a nice touch, but they need more, musically. With a few more tricks of originality and dynamism, I could see them gaining the sort of legacy defunct acts like Belvedere and the Fullblast managed after establishing a strong presence in the 2000s revival, because this decade's still young and up for grabs.

Under the Flag
The Time Keeper
The Gunkanjima Syndrome
Eager Heartache
A Million Within a Whole