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Boston hardcore thrashers Give Up the Ghost (Tim Cossar, guitar; Wes Eisold, vocals; Brian Masek, guitar; Matt Woods, bass; and Nate Helm, drums) originally formed in the fall of 1999 as American Nightmare, building a following with local live shows and a heavily circulated demo cassette, which led to a deal with the Boston independent label Bridge Nine Records. A self-titled EP followed in 2000, as they hit the road with such acts as Madball, Converge, Amen, and Boy Sets Fire, issuing another EP the following year, The Sun Isn't Getting Any Brighter, again for the Bridge Nine label. The same year, the band signed with Equal Vision (a subsidiary of Caroline), issuing their debut full-length release, Background Music, in June of 2001 — overseen by renowned hardcore producer Dean "Madball, Right Brigade, Ten Yard Fight" Baltulonis. That year, the band signed up to appear on a forthcoming Black Flag tribute album for Initial Records. In 2003, following a trademark dispute with a Philadelphia group of the same name, American Nightmare changed their name briefly to American Nothing before settling on the new name Give Up the Ghost in early 2003. New name in place, the guys returned with their Equal Vision follow-up, We're Down Til We're Underground, that September. Bridge Nine then released Year One in early 2004, which compiled the band's initial EPs and other early material, but by the summer, due to personal and health reasons, Give Up the Ghost decided to call it a day.