Whatever their time machine of choice, be it hot tub, DeLorian, magic red shoes (what… they are from Kansas…) or a stack of records, power-trio The Midnight Ghost Train have reset their clocks and gate-crashed the peak of the arid desert rock party that was the late 90’s and returned with all the big phat riffs, albeit with a darker and more nihilistic tone to their narratives in comparison to their Californian cousins, on their third album, Cold Was The Ground (Napalm).
New bassist Mike Boyne, often taking the role of prominent protagonist, fuzzes languid moves underneath Sabbathian grooves, as unhurried guitars roll out riffs that could be out-takes from the recording sessions of Fu Manchu’s The Action Is Go (Mammoth), and there really is a feel of enjoyment of their craft and making it seem effortless both in construction and delivery of the rockier moments, a confident nonchalance that makes ‘BC Trucker’ and the roil of ‘No 227’ simple, enjoyable bluster, while ‘Straight To The North’ shows a doomier side, with a tale to be told.
There is a sand-gritty heavy blues overtone to Cold Was The Ground , while the Ben Ward-esque gruffness of vocalist Steve Moss is suitably brusque, adding to the lo-fi bar-brawl charm, and his rhythms, patterns and storytelling lock with the riffs in a manner reminiscent of Neil Fallon and Clutch, particularly on ‘The Canfield’.
The Midnight Ghost Train don’t tend to do complicated, but on ‘The Little Sparrow’, all bass meander and spoken word account of (I assume) Moss’ relationship with music and the downsides of being in a band, they show there is more than one hoss in this town, before the Kyussed to the max downtuned blues ‘Twin Souls’ rambles in.
While neither the most original nor most challenging of listens, Cold Was The Ground is humble, modest, ramshackle and more than effective, with rockier tunes like ‘Gladstone’ and bluesier moments like instrumental ‘One Last Shelter’ showing that the desert is still an appealing place to get your rocks off.
The Midnight Ghost Train is streaming their music video for “Gladstone”, from their forthcoming albumCold was the Ground, out February 28, 2015 in Europe and Australia; March 2, 2015 in the UK, Norway, France, Denmark and Italy; March 4, 2015 in Spain; and March 10, 2015 in North America via Napalm Records, here.
Cold was the Ground Track Listing:
01. Along The Chasm
03. BC Trucker
05. One Last Shelter
06. The Canfield
07. Straight To The North
08. No. 227
09. The Little Sparrow
10. Twin Souls
US Rockers The Midnight Ghost Train has a new album Cold Was The Ground coming out on February 28, 2015 in Germany (and parts of Europe) and Australia); March 2, 2015 in the UK, Norway, France, Denmark and Italy; March 4, 2015 in Spain; and March 10th, 2015 in North America via Napalm Records.
1. Along The Chasm
3. BC Trucker
5. One Last Shelter
6. The Canfield
7. Straight To The North
8. No. 227
9. The Little Sparrow
10. Twin Souls