Some may recognize the name Travis Shettel from the Massachusetts based Piebald, a band Shettel fronted for 14 years. Since the group’s breakup in 2008, Shettel has moved on to new projects. Most recently, Shettel has been at work on TS and The Past Haunts, with the Past Haunts being comprised of the husband and wife duo Ben and Heather Heywood.
Throughout TS & The Past Haunts’ debut full length, entitled Gone and Goner, the trio show off a brand off psychedelic tinged indie rock. “East Jesus” begins the record with twangy guitars until they form a riff, followed by Shettel’s unique voice. “East Jesus” is the most accurate representation of Gone and Goner, so anyone not enjoying the opening track had best look back now.
Gone and Goner’s biggest downfall is that the record blends together to the point where it becomes difficult to differentiate songs without the help of a tracklisting, especially once the first three tracks pass by. “Let’s Be Lazy” is the choice cut from the record, as it has the most straightforward musicianship, and the catchiest chorus, on Gone and Goner.
The biggest thing that Gone and Goner has going for it is the bass guitar performance. The bass lines stand out through the entirety of Gone and Goner, especially on two minute “Unknown,” a track which is carried by the instrument. The bass guitar is not the only noticeable piece of musicianship, as there is much experimentation throughout Gone and Goner. “Citrus Mistress” uses a synth-like sound to enhance the psychedelic elements in TS and The Past Haunts’ music.
Gone and Goner most certainly doesn’t fit in the same realm as Piebald, or many of their No Sleep labelmates, but there is no doubt that Shettel and his Past Haunts will find their place somewhere. Gone and Goner is an admirable debut effort, but ultimately falls short in the end, whether it is due the short running time, or the bleeding together of songs. That aside, it’s easy to admire Shettel for keeping it up, and trying something new.
1. East Jesus
2. Janice Haynes
3. Let’s Be Lazy
5. The 33
7. Heaven in Your Hair
8. All I Can Tell You
9. Patience is Just Waiting
10. Citrus Mistress