Wednesday, January 29, 2014

GHOSTS RUN WILD (CD Review) - "Black Sails on a Sea of Blood" - Raw Horror!!!

As a long time fan of horror punk and horror music in general, it's always nice to find something that actually surprises you. This past year I came in contact with a folks creating electronic horror music. Not industrial mind you, but actual beat blasting, dance music with a horror twist. It was refreshing and I enjoyed it, but I couldn't help feeling like I want some good old fashion guitar driven spook-outs.  I'm a Rock N' Roll fella at heart. Punk and Goth and Metal and Psychobilly and Spookabilly and Horrorabilly. I think the youngster call this kind of music Death Rock. Sounds good to me. There are plenty of acts in all of these subgenre, well established and even some not so established that you'll be familiar with, but today I'm here to offer you a look into Ghosts Run Wild most specifically the "Black Sails on a Sea of Blood" album from Goblinhaus Records. This is a new band pulling from a variety of influences that is rich with layers of sound while approaching several different types of songs.

Just so we're all on the same page here, Jim Vance is Ghosts Run Wild. He's the one man band behind the variety creep out. The album includes a couple covers (one New Math song and one by Die Cruisin). It was recorded in Thee Olde Haunted Shack (spoooky scary). This is one of two releases by Goblinhaus records who have also put out an album by Monster A-Go-Go and will be releasing a new album from La Basura Del Diablo this March. Goblinhaus proper sells horror goodies, vintage and new line products. Their venture into recording artist has been an overly positive one, digging up new talent with true horror sensibilities. We're talking about smart horror music with an edge (Monster A-Go-Go even features Udo Kier on the cover of their "Transylvania Mania" album.

Check out the title track here:

Before you get your ears dirty let's talk about what you're going to hear in Ghosts Run Wild. My first impression was that I was listening to a very echo based sound with crystal clear, multi textured guitars all be it with a fairly low production value and maybe in need of a re-mix. The overall impression was that Ghosts Run Wild sounded like a cross between The Ravonettes, with a hint of the Goth band Nosferatu and with the simplicity of a garage rock band from the late 60's. The vocals were cool, punk with some edgy screams with a casual swing and cool crooner sensibility, but distinctly NOT Elvis. You won't hear as much of the Misfits in Ghosts Run Wild, but the themes remain the same. Horror based lyrics, less movie driven but more general ghosts, goblins, murder and mayhem. Creepy organ accents and a few samples help to round out the B movie sound.

Songs on Black Sails vary from Psychobilly to straight forward horror punk with some Iggy Pop overtones. We're talking about simple songs with catchy hooks and surfy guitar solos. From the opening track "Headless" which as the distinct feeling of a new wave era Goth tune you're greeted with an abundance of echo and reverb giving the whole album a large hall sound. As previously stated the album could really benefit from some pumped up bass and drums rather than burying the backbone of these creepy classics behind the harsh overdrive of both vocal and guitar. Thought I cannot be certain of all tracks I believe there's a drum machine back there somewhere. Still, the low fidelity nature of this album seems to offer a the garage quality that may not be great for bumping around in your hearse as you stroll to pick up the black eyeliner crowd, but it's perfect for hanging out in the back of your Caddy smoking joints and planning a night of graveyard tag. In more simple terms, this is a fun album for fun creepy folks who have a good sense of humor,enjoy camp and music that at times sounds like it came straight out of your favorite 50's science fiction Z movie.

The title track "Black Sails On a Sea of Blood" is some standard punk fair with a terrific bridge solo that comes off like something straight off a Replacements album but without the booze fest. "Double Shadow" is a short but perfectly crafted instrumental dark tribute to fast steady surf. Keep in mind that this album offers 19 tracks of pure horror rock, but that no song is actually over two minutes long, so there's plenty to enjoy. If you're not digging a tune, you have a less than two minutes until you have a chance to fall in love with Ghosts Run Wild. Don't fear. It's a full album, and horror fans are sure to love a couple tracks at the very least.

You can pick up Ghosts Run Wild NOW from Goblinhaus. There are special offers with free stickers and pins available for a limited time while supplies last and even a t-shirt CD combo pack. Make sure to pick up each of their releases at very reasonable prices and keep your ear to the internet for the upcoming release in March. All Goblinhaus Records releases can be found HERE.

Also, make sure to stop by Goblinhaus and see what other wares you might be interested in grave robbing.

-Doc Terror

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