Catch The Ghost is Buffalo’s first phantom-themed emo-punk band.

That’s right, it’s more than just a name – the group’s latest project Midnight Naps in Cemeteries takes haunting personal issues, whether that be vices, fears, anxiety, or people we hate, and compares them to troublesome ghosts that pester to no end. It’s a fantastic metaphorical vehicle that creates some intriguing lyrics as well as unifies the project under one focus.

The group’s guitarist, Luke Wheeler said “We’ve always had a really fond fascination with ghost hunting, and Zack Bagans’ style of aggressive paranormal research.” The group actually did an hour-long live stream titled “Hinsdale Investigation,” in which they did some of this paranormal work. They said “Practical ghost hunting applications are crucial for songwriting.” In addition, the two remaining members, Kody Fintak and Nick Benstead, expressed their love for an indie horror video game called Phasmophobia.

Funnily enough, the first track, “Ghosts in my Attic,” is actually written about their experience playing that game. Musically, it catches the listener’s attention with a big hook as well as the first mention of the project’s spectral themes. Fintak, the group’s lead vocalist for three out of the five songs here, sings an interesting line “I saw you, could you see me too / I saw you, I could see right through you.” It compares seeing through someone’s facade to the transparency of a ghost, or as Fintak explained “I ran into someone that I never wanted to think about again.”

The following song, “Zack Bagans Has Found Me And Burned A Hole In My Pocket,” is the EP’s strongest offering. A deft emo guitar line grabs your attention before it evolves into more of a punk jam. This one laments about life being lame with the project’s best lyrics and catchiest vocal melody. Fintak sings “I spent a couple months with my head against the glass / Watching life alone, knowing it’ll pass / Swept up like a pile of leaves, I’m still stuck forever under the sheets / I see your face in everything.” 

A tasteful glockenspiel part emphasizes the final line as well as harkens in the intriguing chorus: “I’m just trying to sleep in / But the creaks in the floor keep me up all night / And I can’t take it.” The songs’ lyics often have dual meaning, touching on emotional struggles as well as hiding at least one ghost reference in each of the EP’s five tracks.

The closer, “Tongue,” is a weighty final exploration of the EP’s themes, as it lyrically sees the band finally doing everything they can to best the ghosts that plague them. The song finds strength in the EP’s successful formula, raw punky melodies and an emo-rock lucidity.

Stream Midnight Naps In Cemeteries on Spotify or Apple Music.