Ghoul are back and I couldn’t be more excited. They’ve had a prolonged hibernation, surfacing for a show here and there but generally not doing too much to draw attention to themselves. I get the impression this has been due to some substantial labour being directed towards their followup to 2008′s A Mouthful Of Gold mini-album (which I loved)
“3Mark” is the second taste from their upcoming mini-album Dunks, which apparently will be out in January 2011. The first – Milkily – was a quirky, jagged tune which was solid but left me guessing which direction the band was heading in.
This new tune is bigger, more confident, more streamlined – and definitely more accessible than anything heard from the band prior. It also comes across as something of a genre study: someone has definitely been listening to Burial, as many of that artist’s hallmarks are present, including the syncopated rhythmic shuffles, his muted ambient stabs, and the pitch-shifted vocals. This isn’t a diss – the track wholly works, but the arrangement definitely bears a strong imprint of its influences. Giving this tune some distinction is a big, live-band middle 8 and outro which provides a nice pay-off to the song’s otherwise murky groove.
All of this said, I love the tune, even with it wearing the influences on its sleeve. What the song doesn’t give, however, is any more of a definite idea of what the Ghoul’s new “sound” actually looks like as a whole. We’ve heard two vastly different tunes so far, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what fills out the picture.
Also interesting is Ghoul taking a step on from their ardently DIY methods seen with their last release – the band have signed with Speak N Spell Records, have managers and bookings agents in the picture and generally look intent on taking things to the next level. I’m hoping it really pays off for the guys.
- 3Mark (mp3)