Review Summary: The beginning of a journey.
This Is Ghost! Country are an emerging, Berlin-based, stoner four-piece. Mixing several elements ranging from punk to metal, their eponymous debut is a short, sometimes sketchy affair. However, the guys, knowing their strengths, introduce themselves well to the world by churning some interesting, unpredictable music along the way. The loose, fun atmosphere of the record adds a lot to the experience, a feature rarely seen in this field.
Musically, This Is Ghost! Country constantly shift approaches and tempos, being slightly difficult to pin into a corner. They throw everything from Brant Bjork-like bass grooves on 'The God Replacement', descending them further into darker corners of metal, to fuzzy, slow burning rhythms on 'Smooth UnFoo', loosely echoing Fu Manchu or even Truckfighters. Highlights include the punk stoner 'Ztupe/Red Area' and the psychotic closer, 'Bootes'. The former is the catchiest tune here, reminiscing Wretch
-era Kyuss, while the latter mixes pummeling riffs with scorching doom ones, knit together by tense, somber passages. 'Tekken' is another track worth mentioning, as it's a mini epic, growing from laid back blues licks to powerful stoner metal. The song's only downside is the rush through phases, ignoring the possibility of expansion to create a massive, intricate tune.
On the opposite, the vocals, which range from spoken verses to hardcore screams, are a bit hit-and-miss. They usually fit the adrenaline rush riffing, adding weight to the tracks, but sometimes the band are trying to cram words where it's not necessary (e.g. 'The God Replacement' or 'Tekken'). With some voice refinement and more attentive lyrics placement, this flaw should gradually get out of the way. Also, the short length of the record (33 minutes) doesn't really allow the listener to fully immerse himself into the music.
Nevertheless, This Is Ghost! Country
is an interesting record coming from a band which aims to set itself apart right from the beginning of the road. Mixing several styles might lead to inconsistency, but experimenting it's the only way for them to find a path of their own. Of course there is room for fine tuning like on any debut, but so far these guys are on the right track. Any stoner fan should give this album a spin just for fun.