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Switched 

Ghosts in the Machine (Corporate Punishment)

Ghosts in the Machine documents a hit album that never was. Mainly composed of the demos for Switched's sophomore LP, which never officially got made, this stellar two-disc set is loaded with rough, early versions of radio-friendly hard-rock songs. These Ghosts would've haunted the airwaves for months.

But label woes kept Switched from ever properly recording these songs, and with frontman Ben Schigel's production career taking off, this material has been shelved for close to three years now. Too bad, because the band members' songwriting was progressing by leaps and bounds. They broke out of the nü-metal mold by sharpening their melodies, while at the same time adding much more guitar bite to the mix. Raw-lunged screamo outbursts like "Save Myself" and "Into Disaster" are heavier than anything the band has ever done, while moodier, more pensive tracks like "Empty Promises" and "Shattered" find the group plumbing a newfound emotional resonance. "How could you stop believing?" Schigel asks at one point. We wonder the same thing about this once-promising band.

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More by Jason Bracelin

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