Equal Vision saw fit to re-release the band's 2001 debut album, Background Music, in 2003, after the hardcore punk outfit had been forced to change its name. In the two years between the original release of the album and the re-release, the band garnered volumes of new fans and achieved critical acclaim in hardcore circles despite the burden of legal problems it no doubt had to endure. However, having the opportunity to look back, one has to wonder how appropriate all the generous words were. What one finds on Background Music are 11 songs coming in at less than 25 minutes, many of which are just fast, screamy circle-pit anthems with occasional breakdowns. Thankfully, the lyrics are remarkably intelligent and thoughtful -- they hardly seem to go with the genre, but are welcome nonetheless. All in all, though, this album hardly seems remarkable, and one has to wonder if it's more because of an explosive live show, as opposed to a revolutionary sound, that Give Up the Ghost has managed to succeed.
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AllMusic Review by Kurt Morris