The Ghost of Otis has done something that very few bands have made me done before; actually read the lyrics and allow them to provoke my own opinions about the topic at hand. Religion ("I agree with the words of Jesus but not with the Christians, and I agree with the ways of Siddhartha but not with the Buddhists.", politics ("Passing ideas from one leader to the next, they say it creates structure, but who the fuck wants structure? We create it with our taxes. We paid the bill, but we're still in debt, and without a way out. So how do they fix it? Create more taxes, and raise the ones they already had."), and social issues ("Your car eats more gas than you can afford, and those cigarettes you smoke, they run eight bucks a pack. That's another hour's work for you; light another one boy, here's to your health. Another car crash on your way into work, five seconds late and your boss gives you crap. Eight more hours 'til your freedom is won, but by then you're so tired, you just want to crash.") are all common topics throughout the record. These deeper topics are mostly spoken rather than sung by gruff speaker Jason McCray, while siblings Krista and Matthew D'Amico add sweeter vocals at other times. Krista also contributes massively with her deep, vibrant baritone saxophone, which works pleasantly together with Matthew's heavy guitar riffs. Though some of the lyrics may not fit your views entirely, it is best to listen to Hopes and Denials with an open mind, as the thoughts reflected in the lyrics are at the very least worth understanding. The music itself is beautiful, but the societal views make this record special. You can stream the entire album on the band's Deep Elm page here.