Saturday, 5 October 2013

Holy Ghost! - Dymanics

Album review by kev@thesoundofconfusion.co.uk


Some people took the news of LCD Soundsystem's decision to split in the same manner that the announcements of the end of The Beatles or Take That were received. There were outpourings of grief and plenty of tears at those final gigs. Sure, it's sad when a band you love break-up, but, as John Lennon pointed out, the records haven't gone anywhere. They're still there. If you want to listen to your favourite band then you still can. James Murphy recently announced that his next project could be somehow linked with the proto-metal of The MC5, Blue Cheer and so on, which has got us a bit excited. Not gonna be for you? Well he also co-runs a rather good record label called DFA, and they have many bands crafting sounds not dissimilar to LCD Soundsystem (and we didn't really need to tell you that, did we?). One of the more notable of these has been Holy Ghost! and they're on the verge of releasing their second album, 'Dynamics'.

Will it be as good or exciting as a new LCD record? Maybe not, but given the praise heaped upon the New York duo's self-titled 2011 debut, it gives us reason to believe that they could follow in those hallowed footsteps. Certainly fans of that flavour of music will have something to pique their interest. Thanks to a successful first outing, the pair entered the studio with more confidence this time, both in their writing ability and in Alex's vocals, and this is definitely noticeable as they're clearer and more prominent in the mix. One other difference that may be detected is that 'Dynamics', although retaining their alternative edge, has a more poppy feel to it. Just listen to the "do do dos" on 'Dance A Little Closer', or alternatively just listen to the record in full. It may not be the most eclectic offering you'll hear all year, but the opening quartet of songs will go down well with a wider audience without leaving existing fans feeling too cold. They do credible electro-pop incredibly well.

'It Must Be The Weather' sees them switch to a different style; slower, more industrial and with slight retro stylings. Is the line "I need a change" a mere coincidence? We'll refrain from speculating on what 'I Wanna Be Your Hand' refers to (it's probably not just for "running through your hair" anyway). It's a track in two parts, a twinkly intro and the main section which is back to the pop side of things but is a highlight. 'Bridge and Tunnel' is a rare moment where we have a song that would have been best left on the cutting room floor, so to speak. '70s disco doesn't really suit Holy Ghost!, and 'Don't Look Down' won't make their 'Greatest Hits' album (should they ever release one) but the Moroder-esque production saves it in much the same way as that man saved disco music all those years ago. The second half of 'Dynamics' does have a penchant for the sounds of yore, and the basic electronica used for 'In The Red' is quite nice, but again they steer the ship into poppy waters, and this time it's just a little too cheesy. Help is on hand though, and final track 'Cheap Shots' saves the day. 'Dynamics' falters in places, but that's because it sees Holy Ghost! not resting on their laurels, they're trying different styles. So they've made what is, when all is balanced out, a good record. It's when they forget the past and look forward that they find the best results.







Holy Ghost's website

Stream the album in full

Buy the album

Catch them live:

10/12/13 DENVER, CO / BLUEBIRD THEATRE
10/13/13 SALT LAKE CITY, UT / URBAN LOUNGE
10/15/13 SEATTLE, WA / NEUMOS
10/16/13 PORTLAND, OR / WONDER BALLROOM
10/18/13 SANTA BARBARA, CA / VELVET JONES
10/19/13 SAN FRANCISCO, CA / TREASURE ISLAND
10/20/13 LOS ANGELES, CA / FONDA
10/21/13 PHOENIX, AZ / CRESCENT BALLROOM
10/22/13 TUSCON, AZ / CLUB CONGRESS
10/23/13 EL PASO, TX / 301 LIVE
10/24/13 AUSTIN, TX / EMO'S EAST
10/25/13 HOUSTON, TX / FITZGERALD'S
10/26/13 DALLAS, TX / CLUB DADA
10/28/13 ATLANTA, GA / TERMINAL WEST
10/30/13 CAMBRIDGE, MA / SINCLAIR
10/31/13 NEW YORK, NY / TERMINAL 5
11/01/13 WASHINGTON, DC / 9:30 CLUB
11/02/13 PHILADEPHIA, PA / THEATRE OF LIVING ARTS
11/04/13 BURLINGTON, VT / HIGHER GROUND
11/05/13 MONTREAL, ON / BELMONT
11/06/13 TORONTO, ON / THE HOXTON
11/07/13 COLUMBUS, OH / A&R BAR
11/08/13 PONTIAC, MI / CROFOOT BALLROOM
11/09/13 CHICAGO, IL / METRO





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