Music Reviews

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Artist: The Ghost Effect (@)
Title: s/t
Format: CD
Label: Breakdown Records
Distributor: Masterpiece
Rated: *****
Who's the ghost busted by this Italian band in this self-titled record? Maybe it's the same one who used to see his friends Banshees and his idol Siouxsie Sioux during their exhibitions in the glorious 80ies (without paying the entrance ticket and presale fees!), persuaded by their value rather than plastic pop musical gadgets belonging to those tormented musical period. Maybe it's the same taking possession of Siouxsie's or Nico's voices wwhile performing, as the style of Laura Agerli, sounding so glacial and at the same time powerfully melodic. And even if these guys refer to the notorious photographic effect, the ghost could also a sort of metaphor for a glorious musical past, the "traditional" gothic dark rock of those years which is almost impossible to get rotten, whose apparition amidst a scene partially affected by sometimes insignificant darkwave projects, mostly inspired by ego trips, makes sense. By the way The Ghost Effect is not a sort of tribute band and they're not only nostalgic old-fogeys prostrating themselves before an altar embellished by old dusty vynils or b/w pictures. Their way of relationing to the past could be described (..or I'd better say the pathology they're suffering from) by the lyrics of Korsakoff Syndrome, a nice piece reminding that kind of romanticism of bands such as Snakecorps: "The present is a mirror/And I can't be reflected in/[...]/the past inside my head/Is the frame of my today/Particulars changing/And the story is the same". In their cauldron, many scented dead flowers such as the melancholic My Black Regrets, the sad folk-tinged ballad Submission, the lulling march of The Ghost Parade - a song arguably addressed to the real ghosts crowding our society -, the melodic luge on a bony refrain in The Fall Of The Man Of The Moment, the sinister emanations of Friendly Fire (properly addressed the ghost of some lover evoked by some pictures in a box) or the moving craftwork on Goodbye Tomorrow (maybe the best track of the album), where many of the mentioned ghosts look like singing togehter in a redeeming chorus. Bust such a ghost!



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