This ‘Trenton’ article was written by David Lowe, a GIGsoup contributor
For those not familiar, a ‘ghost runner’ (or ‘invisible runner’) is a baseball term in which a runner is selected to run for the batter. Effectively, it represents a patsy who does all someone else’s work and takes all of their risk on board. It is this theme which runs through-out the lyrics of this EP – the idea that Trenton (aka Ryan Courtney) is just a patsy is explored with no inconsiderable grace. Whilst the music and vocals are competent (if uninspiring), the lyrics are really what appeals to listeners on this album.
What’s really odd is that in the triumvirate of musical measures (music, vocals, and lyrics), lyrics are the hardest dimension to get right; to a certain degree you can learn how to play the guitar like Jimi Hendrix, or learn to sing like Art Garfunkel, but no one can write a song unless they have a certain je ne sais quoi about them. It’s a dichotomy that most bands are familiar with; R.E.M.’s first album ‘Murmur’ seemed to cover up what was Michael Stipe’s rambling – and at times non-sensical – songwriting. Certain bands like Oasis have built careers on writing lyrics that are non-sensical – take ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’, try and decipher that. In any case, it’s something that Trenton undoubtedly has.
By musical standards, Trenton is one of the ‘oldest’ artists with-in this genre; his first release was almost ten years ago, and to a certain extent it shows. The strongest point of this EP (being the lyrics) aren’t covered up with cooing or mighty bass thumps, in fact one could almost say that the lyrics are brought to the fore in every track as a result of good production and clever songwriting. That’s not to say that the music or the vocals show a similar craft – it’s almost like Trenton spent 95% of his time on the lyrics and then just jammed some music and sang along to them. That is the elephant in the room with this EP: if everything was as polished as the lyrics, we’d be listening to possibly one of the greats, but they aren’t and we aren’t.
It’s a shame that an EP that held so much promise is doomed to appear on the discount shelves by Christmas, however, it is. It’s a damn good try, but it just falls that little bit short of the base.