Trashy Moped Recordings
Ghostland Observatory’s fourth album has a lot of familiar resonances right from the start. So let’s start name dropping. On one song, they sound a lot like early Dandy Warhols… but a lot simpler. The next song, The Rapture (Pieces of the People We Love Rapture, not Echoes Rapture)… but a lot simpler. Then Gorillaz… but a lot simpler.
Are you sensing a pattern yet?
Let’s continue: Daft Punk, but simpler; CSS, simpler; Basement Jaxx, simpler; stripped down Rush or Saga or Queen (but still simpler); a rudimentary attempt at Wall of Voodoo/Stan Ridgway narrative, but simpler; hell, I can even swear I hear Billy Squier’s “The Stroke” … but a lot simpler.
In the end, this album most reminds me of Ministry’s first album (this is the bubblegum “I Wanted to Tell Her” Ministry, not industrial alternative “Psalm 69” Ministry): it’s simple, it’s disconcertingly poppy, and it really never goes anywhere because it’s both all over the place and without any depth. These guys are far less clever than they think they are; the lyrical “stories” are clumsy, failed attempts at smart narrative.
What’s most puzzling is that if you check out the teaser on YouTube, you’re going to think I’m nuts. But if the actual title track (or any of the tracks on the album for that matter) held the kind of tension (or blended together what could be interesting musical elements) like the teaser… why, it’d be a fine thing indeed. The fine touches in the teaser are not on the actual recording. Maybe they just need a video editor for their musical ideas.
Release Date October 26, 2010
2. That’s Right
4. Codename: Rondo
5. Give Me the Beat
6. Body Shop
10. Kick Slap Speaker