Though they don’t play as big a part here as they have in other iconic rock songs, the guitars that lace 308 Ghost Train’s “Bleed Over Me” with sizzle are undeniably just as integral to the single’s chill-factor as any of the other elements in the music are. If you haven’t already heard their work but like to follow the indie rock beat, you need to know about 308 Ghost Train and the string of successes they’ve been having since dropping their debut just last year. Their melodic, optimistic perspectives and cathartic harmonies are giving them a lot of credibility that rivals just can’t capture for themselves, and in my opinion, theirs is one of the few new singles out this summer that is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

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The piano keys are inarguably more of a star than the guitar is in a couple of moments here, but the harmonization between their melody and that of the strings in the chorus is what sets off the excitement for the latter half of the single more than anything else ever could have. Coupled with the vocal, there’s something very classic rock-esque about the entire climax in “Bleed Over Me” that has yet to wear on my nerves, even after spinning the song quite a few times in preparation for this review. It’s emotional and yet masculine and retro, which isn’t exactly the kind of combination that you can find just anywhere these days (especially in rock).

Although the vocal isn’t as big and bold in the mix as I would prefer it to be, I think that for a layered construction of the harmony to work properly in this single, it can’t be. Even with that being the case, I do think there’s enough in “Bleed Over Me” to warrant more vocal-centric work from 308 Ghost Train in the future. They still have a lot of different areas within their sound that they’re not getting the most out of, but with a little more time to cultivate their style, I believe they’ll have all the right weapons to wage a war on the boundary that separates their current status and that of the modern rock superstar. Nothing needs to be rushed, but at the pace they’ve been operating at so far, I don’t doubt we’ll be seeing something substantial a lot sooner than later.

A lot of listeners will be getting into 308 Ghost Train for the first time this summer on the strength of this latest single, but whether you’ve been watching their evolution since day one or just discovered their work today, there’s a good chance you’re going to like what you hear in “Bleed Over Me.” It was tailor-made for a generation that needs a little more rock n’ roll in their daily lives, but more importantly, it has the emotional guts to put itself – and its performers – out there amidst an era thoughtlessly celebrating those in pop who do anything but.

Sebastian Cole