BY FRED MILLS
Oh, THAT Gross Ghost. You mean the one that turned up a few weeks ago on the stage of BLURT’s sister business, Schoolkids Records (Raleigh, NC), and proceeded to give everyone a dose of the sonic jitters—like waking up in bed at 3a.m. and wondering if that sex/horror/murder dream was an actual memory? Yeah, that Gross Ghost. Whoah. Yeah. Those guys can make a racket and stir your innards up. And apparently, when guitarist/singer Mike Dillon and bassist Tre Acklen set about their duties in recording their sophomore set, following up last year’s Brer Rabbit (Grip Tapes), they reached the determination that “more is less,” resulting in a ten-song set of pure rock ‘n’ roll mania, part vintage punk, part dissonant indie rock, part glam-slam anthem rock.
From the propulsive undulations of “You Will” and the hectic, Buzzcockian pop thrash of “Memory Screen” to the serene martial strut that is “They Say” and the thumping T. Rex churn of “Howlin” (the latter finds Dillon submitting an outrageous vocal come-on that you gotta hear to believe… ladies, lock your doors and press those knees together), this album amounts to pure, unbridled joy at the liberating qualities of two guitars, one bass, one set of drums—and the truth, natch. That the band – which also includes Chris Riddle and Rob Dipatri on drums and guitar, respectively – clearly has more fun on stage than a roomful of kids watching Saturday morning cartoons is testimony to a shared aesthetic that is as inspiring as it is rare in this era of “we so serious” artsy-fartsy indie.
They gonna be your new favorite band, no kiddin’. What, you’d rather be listening some Brooklyn hipsters? Shame on you.
DOWNLOAD: “Howlin,” “Memory Screen”