Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Dirty Ghosts: "Metal Moon" (album review)

Metal Moon is the new album from San Francisco-based Dirty Ghosts.  The record, out February 21st, is the project of Toronto-native Allyson Baker.

The album was produced by Baker's husband Aesop Rock (who also provides drum programming), and is a true genre-bender.  Incorporating elements of dance, hip hop, disco, blues and garage rock, it is a record that keeps the listener on his toes.

More than the balance of styles, it's the feel of the record that's impressive.  Baker manages to be always uber-intense but never ever out of control.

Things kick off with The Kills-esque "Ropes That Way", a clatter-filled rocker that falls into a hip-shaking groove.  Even more danceable are the focus track "Shout It In" and the disco/funk-infused "No Video".  Elsewhere, "Katana Rock" takes a more hypnotic approach.

Dirty Ghosts approach anthem status with the blistering "19 In '71".  It teams well with "Battle Slang", a song that opens with a guitar line that could easily be attributed to Wire or The Minutemen, before succumbing to a relentless percussion and enthralling gang vocals.

The album seems to get even more experimental as it goes on.  It makes you feel as though Baker wanted to cram in as many musical touchstones as she could before she was done.  That manifests with the George Clinton-meets-The Fall-as-sung-by-Debbie Harry "Steamboat To Concord" before wrapping up with "Beast Size", a song that seems to draw inspiration from the extended Side 2 jams from Jane's Addiction's Ritual De Lo Habitual.

Not every experiment works along the way, and some of it sounds a tad forced, but you will be hard-pressed to find a record as varied as Metal Moon this year.

Best tracks: "Shout It In", "19 In '71"

Track listing for Metal Moon:
  • Ropes That Way
  • Shout It In
  • Surround The Controls
  • Battle Slang
  • No Video
  • Katana Rock
  • 19 In '71
  • Steamboat To Concord
  • Pretty Face
  • Beast Size

No comments: