Plain as Ghosts, “Rendering” 5/5

Echoes and reverberations are usually followed by brief periods of silence and reticence. This circle of sounds – or lack thereof – allows the ear to measure, understand and appreciate how golden the sound of silence could be. As brief as it may be, silence breeds awareness and awareness allows for processing, creativity and, finally, rendering.

Plain as Ghosts’ debut album, Rendering, is an appreciation of life’s silent moments – periods that follow a loss or love affair. The album plays on the theme of processing emotions and sentiments and there’s hardly a better band to depict this than the prairie rock band.

Formed in 2014, the Winnipeg-based alternative-rock band comprises of Trevor Lux (lead vocals/guitar), Adam Halstrom (bass/vocals), Rodrigo Ramirez (drums), and Daniel Friesen (vocals/guitar). These four musicians draw on personal experiences to create euphonious music laced with deep and emotive lyrics. Their sounds and lyrics portray themes of hope, love, and integrity.

The title track opens the album and, within a minute, sets the atmosphere for the vibrant and sonorous rhythms of “Convolution.” “Convolution” and “The Law” are two of the album’s liveliest and grooviest songs. The themes, lyrics, and mood of these two tracks juxtapose those of “Character Witness” and “Alethea.” The latter pair depicts an individual who is determined to stay strong despite their weaknesses.

In fact, most of the album’s lyrics tell the story of a resolute and unyielding persona; cue “Empty Halls & Plaster Walls” and “Against the Waves.” The album’s lyrical composition complements its heavy and thumping music and is reminiscent of Foo Fighter’s Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace.

That being said, the standout tracks on Rendering are “Against the Waves” andThe Law” for their progressively mellifluous sounds and all-encompassing lyrics.  The sounds, rhythms and lyrics of these two tracks highlight the album’s themes.

There is a thoughtful story being told on each track on Rendering. It would definitely have benefited from a longer track list as the album sounds incomplete or cut short and leaves the listener expecting more.

The eight-track album was produced by bassist Adam Halstrom, who also produced Dee Erin Band’s Indigenous Music Award-nominated album Broken Road, and was recorded at Halstrom’s studio, Pollution Lake Sound.

Visit for more information about the band and their debut album, Rendering.