Album Review: Play The Ace – All My Friends Are Ghosts

Album Review: Play The Ace – All My Friends Are Ghosts

Play The Ace
All My Friends Are Ghosts
(Self-Release)

Play The Ace is a high school pop-punk band out of Dallas, Texas and take influences from acts like My Chemical Romance and All Time Low, while navigating down their own, grungier, spirited lane of rock. Band members Molly Lammes and Dena Asaad are performing on the bass and drums respectively while Iris Chang takes the on vocals and guitar. Bands composed entirely of females are a bit rare in today’s scene, so Play The Ace is one-up in terms of uniqueness. Now coming around to releasing their debut EP, All My Friends Are Ghosts, Play The Ace showcase their youth, passion, and songwriting ability in a brief six songs.

The opening track “Southside” feels anthemic, loose, and paints a picture of the band’s environment while growing up. “6:30” follows up nicely with lazy, cheeky and introverted lyrics, continuing to add to the band’s character. Where one track picks up nicely, the next track, “Note to Self (Peaches)”, feels a little random in the overall sequence of the EP. Though the rhythm is nice, the pickup feels incredibly flat before rectifying itself with a solid outro. “Can’t Find Moral Support in the Backseat of a Car” is way different from any other song on the project, with gentle, pretty vocals over peaceful ukulele strumming. Switching up the styles likes this helps this song alone standout, while sacrificing a bit of overall cohesiveness. After that, Play The Ace returns right back to the rougher, pop-punk/alt-rock sound they were going for earlier, with a fast and noisy track including some good riffs and fine lyrics. The closing track “All Is Well” includes more intriguing lyrics while Iris’ vocals finally start to find a nice space. The All My Friends Are Ghosts EP is a short 20 minutes, and with a lack of varied or unique moments we can’t help but feel Play The Ace achieved less than what they set out for.

What Play The Ace achieves with their debut All My Friends Are Ghosts EP is a solid foundation project with an accessible sound to pull potential fans into. Good songwriting, lyrics, and displays of emotion are all present as well. What All My Friends Are Ghosts falls short of is presenting vocals or instrumentals that are truly captivating. Play The Ace certainly are capable musicians with a youthful spirit, and it’s hard to blame such a young crop of artists for not having more time to develop this EP into a grander first project. Still, despite a commendable effort, the young Dallas band has plenty of developing to do.

Purchase the album here.

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