Imagine if The Cult had, instead of embracing foot on the monitor, leather clad rock, gone down a more 4AD inspire route around album three. Imagine if Echo and The Bunnymen had been inspired by Kate Bush rather than their retro-American influences. Imagine if The Church had opted for a shoegaze infused sound rather than the iconic 12-string jangle. All strange and hypothetical scenarios, but all ones that go some way to describe the glorious sound that Crooked Ghost make on this, their second album. I guess it is only journalists flailing for a handle who conjure such ridiculous images but it says a lot about a band when you need to resort to such extremes. Although, I must admit, it is also a fun thing to do.
To those of us who don’t live in big cities, whose surroundings are more suburban, small town or rural, there is something intriguing, possibly slightly otherworldly, about life in the metropolis. Those extremes of the wealth and destitution, the clashes of culture and creed, the hustle and the loneliness, the bright lights and the dark secrets. As someone who has lived all over London in particular and in similar places across the world, Marty-Wilson Piper’s ode to city life is both well observed and poetic.
As someone who was/is obsessed with The Church and more than a little in love with All About Eve, three words that are really going to make my day are Marty, Wilson and Piper. So with a new Noctorum album promised and a teaser single landing in the review pile, everything in the world is good again.
Any band that lists their influences a “Micheal Hutchence on a rope” is always going to warrant a closer look. To some this might seem like a tasteless piece of rhetoric, to me it is a coded message to those of us who are always on the look out for new music and bands who subvert the mainstream expectations. Those who think that Australia’s contribution to the music world stops at pub-rock and prancing pop ponies such as INXS will already have stopped reading, those that are aware of its bubbling counter culture cauldron that has spawned the likes of The Saints, The Go-Betweens, Radio Birdman and The Birthday Party should check this band out.
Listen to Prescription HERE
Musically they dabble in post punk atmospherics; jangling guitars and hushed vocals just audible above shoegazy sound washes seem to weave a mesh that snares both underground 80’s pop and the unpretentious end of goth. The fact that there is also a hint of local heroes The Church is just an added bonus. Like the aforementioned band they manage to mix a stately elegance with a controlled energy to create a wonderful psychedelic shimmer. On the strength of this single and with a love of the eighties sound being in vogue Nite Field will soon be courted by a discerning and global audience.
Catch them live on the following dates
01-22 Petrozavodsk, RU @ Amsterdam Club
01-23 St Petersburg, RU @ More Club
01-24 Moscow, RU @ Powerhouse
01-27 Kharkiv, UA @ Akuna Matata
01-29 Kiev, UA @ Closer
01-30 Athens, GR @ Death Disco
01-31 Larissa, GR @ Sto Peripou
02-01 Thessaloniki, GR @ Mavri Tripya
02-04 Skopje, MK @ MKC
02-05 Sofia, BG @ Mixtape 5
02-07 Bucharest, RO @ Question Mark
02-12 Tallinn, EE @ Sinilind
02-13 Tartu, EE @ Genialistide Club
02-14 Riga, LV @ Depo
02-18 Vilnius, LT @ Kablys
02-20 Zurich, CH @ Exil
02-21 Paris, FR @ Espace B
02-23 London, UK @ The Old Blue Last
02-26 Essen, DE @ Goethebunker
One of the things about running a new music review site is that you have no control over what you get sent. Double-edged sword? Maybe. But for every 10 Artic Monkeys wannabes who think that they can take over the world with a pair of skinny jeans and a working knowledge of A minor, for every 20 pop outfits with their complicated hairstyles and their forgettable tunes that they should have forgotten to write, a real gem turns up. I had it recently with Field Mouse and it’s happened again with (Here’s to) The Ghosts of The Past from Washington DC based Dot Dash.
From the frantic build, the kick in from the rhythm section, the quickly arrived at chorus…everything about it made me smile, then made me nostalgic and finally made me dance around the room. Channelling the sounds of a hazy post-punk mid eighties summer, the sound of Sarah Records, west coast jangle guitar, driving bass lines that are both hooky and indeed Hooky plus an overall vibe that puts me in mind of the massively underrated Antipodean band The Church (vocally) and at the same time Mega City Four (musically).
The again there are good reasons why they should fall so naturally into such a sound, why they would evoke the sound of those classic bands…some of the band were in them. A past history of the Dot Dash incumbents shows that they have served time in Julie Ocean and Swervedriver as well as hardcore units such as Minor Threat and Youth Brigade, an impressive CV to be sure.
If lead single’s main purpose is to make you check out the rest of the album then this has done its job in spades and a purchase of Half-Remembered Dream, their third and latest long player, is just around the corner.