Yikes!! Dead Ghosts' nuggets come blaring out the speakers with a singular rawness and immediacy that will bring joy to the heart of garage rockers everywhere. You may have missed these psych-surf jams first time around, but Burger Records are here to put that right. Their oop debut is back on sweet 12-inch vinyl.
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- Dead Ghosts by Dead Ghosts
8/10 Robin Staff review, 07 May 2015
There are none quite as chill. Dead Ghosts, drenched in lo-fi production like it’s a ray of light, rather than a forecast for torrential rain, are loving the fact that no one can really hear them. Their garage rock is loud and clattering and you can barely hear it beyond its basics (there’s the verse, here’s the chorus, this chord sequence sounds nice under the rubble), but all they want for you is the perfect atmosphere. On this self-titled record their raw tones are warming and, dare I use the music crit watchword, nostalgic.
I’d be tempted to say Dead Ghosts sound like the ‘60s, but what I’m immediately reminded of us the Men and the way they filtered their country rawk influences through ‘Tomorrow’s Hits’. That record was a referential bit of snarling cowpunk, and so is this one: the drums are loose and thrashing while the riffs feel delicate and twangy, if loudly amped and carelessly played. It’s the kind of sound that unites a modern sensibility for noise -- here merely conjured through production -- with an older, more freewheeling sound. That spiky riff that introduces “Off the Hook” is example enough, while the country rhythm that dictates the song’s simplicity makes it sound like you’re spinning an old record hot off a really bad repress.
It’s the flip side where things get good: the brevity kicks in proper and each song feels like a dusted off pop nugget, especially the instrumental title track, which plays out like a waltz for a haunted house, strings bending and swirling as directionless vocals hum in a faraway region. Imagine if the American midwest was upside-down, dangling on a string, and everyone was okay with it.
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