Ghost Cult once again brings you another “End Of Year” list, full of memories, and other shenanigans from our favorite bands, partners, music industry peers, and other folks we respect across the world. Today we have Simon Glacken of I Like Press, one of the top publicists in the UK. If you happen to not know his name, you certainly know the bands he reps due to his tireless work such as Anathema, Paradise Lost, Katatonia, Darkthrone, 65daysofstatic, Bloodbath, Black Moth, The Pineapple Thief, My Dying Bride, TesseracT, Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard, SikTh, Mos Generator, Crippled Black Phoenix, and Cradle Of Filth to name just a few. We thank Simon for his thoughtful and detailed list of his Top Ten Albums of 2016.Continue reading
Former …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead member Jason Reece is well known for being an Indie Rock enfant-terrible, destroying equipment and playing squalling discordant alt rock á la Sonic Youth. Yet with Midnight Masses, Reece has looked to produce more gentle, soulful material which still beats with the same black heart of his main act.
Manifesting in 2008, Midnight Masses have been labelled with many genres such as ‘Gothic Americana’ and ‘Grunge Gospel Folk Rock’. Truly there is no easy way to encapsulate this band into a catchy genre sound bite, and they are all the better for it. Singer Autry Fulbright’s take on his band’s multifaceted sound is “The sound of a city… In the middle of a desert” whatever that means.
Amassing over 14 members, Midnight Masses weave hazy psychedelic landscapes with some 1960’s atmospherics, Gospel vocal passages and Krautrock textures. Think Josh Homme, Neu! and Unkle jamming under an isolated desert sky and you’ll be close. As experimental as this all sounds, there are some very catchy tunes on Departures (Superball/Century Media),‘All Goes Black’ has a beautifully catchy chorus despite the melancholy overtones that permeate its every nuance. Since Fulbright wrote their debut to cope with the loss of his father, several other members of the group also experienced the loss of loved ones which accounts for the largely solemn feel.
Introspective and indulgent, painting with a myriad of styles Departures occasionally loses its way. When following the path of gothic alt rock on ‘Am I A Nomad’ or the surprisingly upbeat ‘Clap Your Hands’ provide a much levity from navel gazing to produce moments of true beauty. Undeniably talented, the overall impact is blighted by a lack of cohesion, leaving the mind able to wonder aimlessly when it should be focussed on the journey ahead.
Grief and loss have made some truly extraordinary records, yet the lack of clear direction towards either big city lights of earthy rural darkness leaves us somewhere in no man’s land.