Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Ghost B.C. - If You Have Ghost - Grohl's Ghosts Connect With Their Past

I'm not sure what Ghost B.C.'s hardcore metal fans will make of their new EP, If You Have Ghost. Produced and drummed by Dave Grohl, the record sounds to my ears more like mid-period Blue Oyster Cult than anything from the last twenty years, and while I happen to love my metal with a bit of Bryds-ish harmony, and pop melody, I'm not so certain the band's fans will feel the same.

Grohl has perhaps spent time in Ghost for some time it would appear, rumored to have played drums on Infestissumam, and maybe even donning a hood and touring with the band, though the band resists naming names. At any rate, Grohl stands alongside Mike Portnoy as rock's greatest secret weapon, showing up on, or even devising projects that suits his fancy - again, a big benefit of a less corporate rock world.

It's hilarious that these Satanic upstarts manage to make Roky Erickson sound Top 40 - If You Have Ghosts tone is straight off BOC circa 1977, and it would have fit perfectly on their Spectres album next to Godzilla and Goin' Thru The Motions. I'm a big, big fan of melody and bands that do what their muse tells them, and I'm loving Ghost B.C. this morning.

Abba gets the treatment with I'm A Marionette, and again it's a big, polished seventies production. To my ears this is what a rock record should sound like - vocals are in tune front and center, the drums punch and the other instruments are bell clear and beautiful. Grohl's drumming is top notch as always, and the harmony guitars get me every time. One could be excused for guessing this to be an album cut from The Alan Parsons Project.

Crucified starts off sounding like an early Judas Priest outtake (in their softer moments), and while it gets grittier when the vocals come in, the chorus takes us straight to the ear candy store, and by now the band's hardcore may be pissed, but this is great stuff. This is lush and plush - saccharine sweet and sticky. Perfectly played, sang, and produced, kids.

Depeche Mode's Waiting For The Night is up next, and it's more of the same - you're either in deep now, or the CD's been thrown up against the wall. These guys might even have a Meatloaf album, or two in their collective collections, and Grohl milks the material from both behind the kit and the mixing board. Syrupy slow and thick as molasses, Ghost B.C. are in no hurry, and they carry this like a pall bearer to its resting place. Gorgeous.

Maybe it's to throw their fans a bone, but they've elected to end the proceedings with a live track - Secular Haze is from their last album, and the live treatment works, as the band sounds like Satan's circus. Maybe it's just to let everyone know that the covers like apples don't fall far from the tree. These mavens are really just consummate hard rockers on a lark, and I wonder if this isn't the first step towards an unveiling of the true talents that make up this sinister sideshow.

At any rate, it's great sounding rock, and that's all I could care about.

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