HOLY GHOST ELECTRIC SHOW – THE GREAT AMERICAN HOLY GHOST ELECTRIC SHOW

HOGO Cover

 

The Great American Holy Ghost Electric Show is the perfect title for this band’s debut album. The folks over at This Is American Music have again brought us something strange, new, and righteous. The record pulsates with wild imagery in the Southern Gothic style, mixing a very modern search for meaning in life with the blood and fire of the Old Testament. This six man band is at times a soul train running gleefully off the tracks, and a somber exploration of different ways to express melancholy and longing at others. There is no one song that would sum this band up, but any song is enough to make you want to see the band play live.

This is a rough album, and I mean that in the most literal way. The music is played from the heart. Each member of the band expresses themselves very clearly using their instrument, but clear does not translate to polished. They seem to be playing not just the song, but off of each other. The lyrics are raw, blunt and esoteric all at the same time. The instrumentation seems like an expression of the lyrics, and the lyrics feel like spoken word that would flow out regardless of the music underneath; two voices speaking in harmony instead of unison. I don’t know what it is about the children of preachers writing songs, but they all seem to have this distance, this worldliness, this fear of knowing so little about this world but too much about the next.

Around now is when I’d start calling out individual songs, but I don’t think that works this time around. The Great American is an album that is meant to be experienced as a whole, as a journey from start to finish. You get the impression that it isn’t meant to be completely understood by the audience, that there are some deep personal impulses at play. The weight of the record, more in the tone than in the music, can easily feel overwhelming and as such this isn’t a record that will stay on repeat for me, but that’s okay. Some experiences are meant to be given space, to be considered before they book is closed on them.

To sum up: Holy Ghost Electric Show is messy and forceful and a little disjointed, but driven and fantastic and new. Most of all, the music is fun. I won’t pass up a chance to watch them play, and you shouldn’t either.

‘And why do I take everyone so personal? 
Tell me why do I take everyone so personal 
I’m comfortable with my mortality 
But I don’t think my mortality is comfortable with me’

Highway Towns
Fireworks Over Fairview
Kerosene Heater Blues

Buy The Great American Holy Ghost Electric Show, digitally or in CD format, at their Bandcamp, and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

As always, much love to This Is American Music.

2 thoughts on “HOLY GHOST ELECTRIC SHOW – THE GREAT AMERICAN HOLY GHOST ELECTRIC SHOW”

  1. This record is interesting on the first listen and then you’ll find yourself going back to it more and more. It’s damn good and you’re right it’s a full record listen

  2. Let me preface my comments by saying that I bought this album the other day and I’m really glad that I did. I have listened several times through already…

    Having said that, this strikes me as the record of a band that hasn’t quite figured themselves out yet. It’s exciting and shows lots of promise but, at least on this record, I don’t think that promise has been realized. It reminds me of how they used to refer to the cast of SNL as the “not ready for prime time players.” This album makes me excited for the next album, if you know what I mean.

    While I agree that this is truly an album and should be approached that way (as opposed to a collection of singles), that can also be interpreted as implying that there not many stand-out tracks. Aside from a few (like “Let the Waters Rise”), I wouldn’t say there are many tracks that I would purposely skip ahead to hear.

    In the spirit of the twitter 140 character reviews, I guess mine would be: uneven debut from band with promising future

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