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Album Review
Ghost Wave

Ghost Wave
by Ghost Wave

Arch HIll Recordings

Review Date
18th May 2011
Reviewed by
Gareth Meade

While largely another act in a long list of rock ‘n’ roll revivalists, Ghost Wave have picked and chosen what works for them and rinsed it until it almost sounds pure again. They won’t escape the debate for or against revivalism itself, because their influences are so apparent (and mostly go by the last name Kilgour), but it helps that no one is likely to mistake them for any of the acts they have used as a springboard on their debut EP.

Over seven songs as effervescent as they are Spartan, Ghost Wave employ lackadaisical guitar, propulsive bass and echoing vocals blanketed in a hazy hue of post-production, which while nothing new, still sounds fresh thanks to the confidence in their songwriting. It’s something that isn’t often exhibited from a new band, who are usually still searching for the kind of 20/20 vision that Ghost Wave already seem to have.

Opener ‘Sounds’ is the perfect example of just how fully formed they have arrived. It gives listeners a taste of everything that awaits them, including the limitations to their template. Even over this shortened set of songs, the psychedelia that envelops a lot of the finer aural details gets a little repetitive. Thankfully though, when the acoustic guitar breaks on ‘Gold’, ‘Hippy’ speeds up proceedings, or ‘Shade’ slows them right down again, it’s obvious that there are more ideas on the table than first meets the eye.

Having said that, the intoxicating simplicity of ‘Sunsetter’ is so perfectly realised, amalgamating everything from Surf City and David Kilgour’s solo sets to early Dandy Warhols and The Brian Jonestown Massacre, that it’s hard to describe it as anything other than a bona fide pop hit. ‘On A Breeze’ and ‘Mood Ring’ are cut from the same cloth, but opt to jam where ‘Sunsetter’ remains on track.

The most important thing this EP achieves is that it makes you want more. There is a lot of potential here to change shape in a way that doesn’t comfortably fit a mould, but rather gives them a chance to sit alongside the bands they so clearly love. From the sound of Ghost Wave, there’s no reason to think they can’t achieve that.


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