The first thing to come up when you google search “Ghost Animal” is a pop band from California. The second result is a website called ‘psychics.co.uk’ that claims to have pictures of ghost animals. sadly, it’s the former that is to be discussed here, something equally due to the excellent lo-fo drizzle of the two piece and the many thousands of words it would take to dissect psychic.co.uk’s ‘real ghost picture’ of a cat called ‘the dude’.
So, the band. The ingredients are all there for a hype band, even if the animal name/from the west coast combo peaked back in 2009. Though it’s a boy/girl duo, you couldn’t get much further from the standard archetype of twee harmonies and acoustic guitar. In fact, though it’d be most sensible to file them under lo-fi, there’s more depth to Ghost Animal, having a sound more akin to a 4 piece going at full pelt rather than two twenty somethings in a rehearsal space. Michael’s unerring monotone a change from the self-consciously awkward singing that dominates the genre, looped over a sea of crashing cymbals. The whole thing is swamped with reverb, though the distortion doesn’t take away from the richness of the tracks, nor the quality that it central to them. There’s a feeling – somewhat justified – that noise pop is somewhat of a one trick pony, but at the heart of these songs is a tune that you feel could stand up to good production without sounding like weak or fickle like many of their contemporaries. Garage rock might be ages old and strongly averse to growing up, but there are clues in Ghost Animal as to how the scene might be able to evolve, without having to sell out in the slightest.
Some artists crumble under the pressure from critics, others find the competition from similar acts too much to deal with. This might be the first time that a band has ever had genuine pressure from a picture of a cat sat on a kitchen floor. Sadly for the recently deceased ‘dude’, it’s a battle to twosome just about win.
Ghost Animal – Change Your Mind [last.fm]