Review Summary: A sonic shot of fuzzy adrenaline mixed with codeine from Ex-M83'er and his new partner in buzz.
It must be hard on Nicolas Fromageau. Not so much the actual leaving of M83, but the aftermath where Anthony Gonzales rode high (deservingly) on the success of their sophomore epic Dead Cities, Red Seas and Lost Ghosts
. Comparatively their output has been far less than equal, mostly based on the fact that Fromageau hasn’t really even had any since he dipped out of home town Antibes for Paris a few years back. Regardless of his reasons or the outcome since, the fact the he had such a major hand in that record is bound to send some ripple through the waters once word really breaks about this, his new EP. Thankfully, this new project with Christophe Guerin is a similarly volatile mix of spacey guitars and walls of fuzz along with a hefty dose of romanticism thrown in for good measure. Basically it sounds like a logical progression from Dead Cities
away from the sugary pomp fellow M83’ers would later undertake. Team Ghost produce a debut EP full to the brim with wide eyed, cinematic pop drenched in reverb.
As far as comparisons to his old band are concerned, they’re pretty much inevtiable and one would hope that Nicolas is good and ready for them. At its core, the music sounds almost exactly like M83 -- which I guess is ok considering that it kind of is
M83. Much like them as well Team Ghost has branched off from that sound in the tangible sense, they are more like a band less like Djs or timid musicians hiding behind samples and vocal tweaks.
Fromageau stepping out from the buzz and up to the microphone as well was a solid move. His coy little coo with it’s expulsions of whimsically forlorn broken English mirrors that of his old M83 compatriot, but if only in the sense of it’s weirdly gruff softness. Matched with the dizzying bleeps of “Echoes” or the driving bass of “Deaf,” its a perfect compliment. His minimalist lyrical work takes on an anthemic quality; much like old M83, but ya know, bound to happen. Perfect example being the end of EP heavy weight “A Glorious Time,” finding Formageau exiting amongst a barrage of distorted pop with a simple sentiment of “Leave it all behind you,” that becomes almost fist-pumping by the song’s end.
That song in a sense is almost a solid representation of what M83 has been deserting since their split, and regardless of the quality of their releases post Dead Cities
(excellent) it is that ability to rouse with even the most sluggish pace that Gonzales has strayed away from. Not that it was the worst thing, his synth heavy pop is glorious, but it is nice to have someone crafting pitch perfect buzz post-shoegaze-rock again and thankfully it is actually a guy who was part of the band who perfected it in the first place. Whether or not they move in the same direction on the obviously impending album, You Never Did Anything Wrong To Me
showcases Team Ghost as a band with a solid blue print of their fantastic ground work -- now they just need to start building up.