A lot of good stuff to choose from this week. From the dark edged pop of The Bats, to the gothic Americana of Ohioan, to the psychedelically charged sounds of The N.E.C, I enjoyed a lot of what I found this week. I’m not blowing my own horn here, all I’m saying is I get a kick out of much of the music I find. Which is why I do it. The band I enjoyed the most, however, are particularly special.
I first heard Guilty Ghosts a while ago through Band Camp with their song The Everlasting Everything. There was an alternate version on Band Camp that’s now vanished, though the recording here on Veils takes the original to transcendent new places. Immediately affecting, it’s a song of rare elemental power. It sounds like a shimmering colossus being built before you : industrial drones and a driving beat combine with intricate guitar parts and-in a revelatory moment-the sighing vocals of Sea Oleena are introduced to gild the tower with a magical glow, a gentle ocean spray. Then comes a hymnal wailing, and we have been transported, gazing upon what we cannot see. Its a profound construction.
Guilty Ghosts do this as well as any musical act I can think of-combining the powerful with the subtle, the electric with the acoustic, the darkness with the beauty. The rest of this album is great too (I have listend to it, promise!), Tristan O’Donnell creates magnificent soundscapes. These songs are the lulling trip to sea, the exhilaration of the storm and triumphant survival.
But to my ears Everlasting Everything stands alone as a rare thing-a truly unique piece of music. It’s the sound of imagination realised, and realised quite perfectly.
Only two tunes thus far from Michael Beach’s latest release but they’re both crackers and have excited me more than anything else I’ve heard this week (excluding perhaps the latest Mark McGuire album but the dude has no Band Camp). Beach is an Australian musician (and member of the excellent Electric Jellyfish) who now resides in San Francisco. The town obviously agrees with him, as the last release A Horse and these new shining pieces suggest.
Straight Spines is a frenetic little tale of mental anguish and unreleased tension, all anxiety and jarring tempo changes, all that beautiful guitar tone that Beach so masterfully controls, all cryptic lyrics, and the not so cryptic..
my mind is pulling me in;
my mind is pushing me out again
This is taut and tight like the best Eddy Current (minus the mania), it’s minimal and tense like the best Carver story (minus the alcoholism), and it’s the sort of music that reminds me that’s it’s still very possible to make vital rock and roll.
There Is No Edge Of The World To Run To is a more relaxed affair, a country song of gentle yearning cast in a mild hangover. Like the best country, it has sadness and hope in equal measures. A shot of melancholy with a chaser of joy. That’s hardly an equal measure, is it? When the keys come in on the solo you know you’re in for the night, that it’s another lock in. Just suck on the ice and look at your sad old countenance in the bar room mirror. At least you can smoke inside after closing time.
(Don’t drink, kids)
In the end, as always, what’s important is the music. Beach has provided a delicious little taster of this long player with these songs. Can’t hardly wait for the full deal.