New Music Tuesday: Crooked Ghost – Skeleton House [Album]

 

First things first Folks, I have to say that I am a huge fan of any band who has a name that is completely and utterly indicative of the sound they are looking to create. So let it be known that Crooked Ghost does just that, and so damn much more. This Asheville based group’s sophomore release Skeleton House is basically everything you would hope it would be with a band name and album title such as this. It’s haunting as shit, yet swerves in and out of fun and despair in a very eloquent manner. While often referred to as a “post punk” band, or at least inspired by said genre in many ways, I can’t help but sensing something much deeper within this group that is far too great to be pigeonholed into such a specific genre. But, if you have to categorize everything these days, I guess it could work. I would dare say that Crooked Ghost is like a vegan-friendly Simple Minds. It has the same flare and concreted misery, but lacks the cheese.

For obvious reasons, the tracks on Skeleton House that were picked to be lead off singles were “Sleepwalker” and “Roadkill”. And believe me, they are fantastic. “Roadkill” has an wonderful video with a great avant garde feel and experimental vibe to it. (which you should definitely check out below). But, this good ole pretentious heart of mine can’t help but lean towards what I would consider to be the most experimental and estranged track on the album, which is the album sharing of a title song “Skeleton House”. I will say this, and I feel as though this should speak volumes to how good it is: When you have to drive 40 minutes at night, on shitty East Anglian roads on the cusp of a blizzard in order to spend far too much money on mediocre Chinese food….”Skeleton House” is the 6 minute opus that will calm your brain as you blow light menthol smoke out of your shitty Mazda Premacy. Sorry, is that too specific? Basically, I loved every song on this 8 track splendor of an album, but that final track really just got to me. I really dug it. Also the Premacy is a fine automobile, I’m just ranting and also a very bad driver. But, I digress.

 

 

Crooked Ghost has a sound that is just so damn intriguing. One element that previous reviews and quotable paragraphs never seen to emphasis is the subtle, yet obvious once the revelation is catered into your brain, is the surf rock-esque elements that are mixed into the album. It’s almost as though this album was recorded in the dead of winter (Spoiler Alert: It was.) and in order to maintain any sort of fun and/or sanity whilst recording the album, they needed just a little spunk. It could have been unintentional on their part, and maybe I am just losing my shit here and am completely out of touch (very possible), but there are many wavering guitar solos that breathe the surf elements into your ears, and they way that Ray Clark’s vocals fade into said guitar, especially on a track like “Sleepwalker” definitely has that delightfully awkward feel of a surf rock track. But, again, do we really have to categorize everything. If we do, let’s call Crooked Ghost a post-surf band. Have we had that yet? I’m not sure.

Despite my own personal uncertainties, I am certain that you all are going to love Skeleton House, as it is a perfectly crafted album from a band that I am very excited to continue listening to, and I would implore you to do the same. With a brilliant post-surf sound and a perfectly relevant to their sound band name, Crooked Ghost is a band that I can get behind with zero uncertainty. They are absolutely brilliant.

 

Skeleton House will be released on limited edition 12″ vinyl on February 15. Order it on Bandcamp. It is also available now digitally across music stores and streaming platforms such as iTunes and Spotify.  

 

About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

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