Blues music comes couched in many various forms. Some are subtle in their interpretation; some stay true to the ‘roots.’ Others just simply leap out the speakers and smack you in the face!
‘Brutal Blues’ is the description coined to describe the music of Montrose duo, GHOSTS OF PROGRESS, and boy, believe me, once you’ve been flattened by their raging blues onslaught, you stay flattened!
Well – maybe not. You’ll more than likely feel compelled to jump back up again and throw yourself around the room in wild, loon dancing with arms punching the air like there’s no tomorrow.
GHOSTS OF PROGRESS are Lew Pelgrave on guitar, vocals and busker style drums, and Callum Christie on guitar. For a two-man band they make one helluva racket! The only slight downside however is the lack of numbers means a lack of variation, the result being that it becomes a little tedious towards the end of the thirty-seven minutes duration. Or maybe that should be ‘exhausting.’
Opening track ‘Bitch In Heat’ reminds me of The Reverend Payton’s Big Damn Band, with the stomping beat and aggressive slide guitar. The vocals have a pretty distinctive sound to them, ever so slightly hoarse.
‘Free Dumb’ is slower paced and hence more identifiable as ‘blues,’ as is ‘Anal Blues’ which although it picks up the pace a little, does to my ears sound quite like its predecessor – certainly with regard to the vocals and deep resonating guitar riffs.
With tracks names like ‘ Coffin Dodger,’ ‘Hail To The Memory Wank,’ as well as the afore-mentioned ‘Anal Blues’ and ‘Bitch In Heat’ this is probably not an album for the faint hearted. It does however show a bit of a wicked sense of humour from the lads, as their songs relate dark but funny tales of alcoholism, drugs and seduction.
On the whole it’s a raucous album of distorted guitar and pounding riffs, although ‘The Story Of A Princess’ does show a more delicate side – at least for the initial minute or so before it builds over the course of a couple of steps, but still reigns in the wild thrash evidenced elsewhere on the album.
A good album, but one that in this age of downloading specific tracks rather than albums, may have been better produced as an EP of say five songs, when the impact would have perhaps been more emphatic.
That said, I’m absolutely certain that GHOSTS OF PROGRESS are one of those bands whose music and atmosphere is better sampled in a ‘live’ environment.’
(Released through Motor Sounds Records on 22nd April 2011)
(7.5 / 10)