(Magnetic Eye Records)
Vermont’s Ghastly Sound have come out of seemingly nowhere to release one of the most exciting EPs of the year. Their self-titled four-song debut is a cult-like devotion to the power of noise, volume, and the amp. Ghastly Sound’s style fuses 90s post-hardcore a la Helmet and Quicksand with a more modern style of fuzz rock (think Torche and Red Fang). There’s also a not small nod to the skyward-gazing aggression of Deftones. However, as interesting as the band sounds in theory, the EP is much, much more fascinating and fun. God damn this is one Hell of a frantically fun record, and the energy and passion doesn’t let out over the first three ragers. Interestingly, the band only employs a bassist, so the fret-work is increasingly impressive once heard with that in mind. The band’s love of both the past and what they do (the passion oozes from the speakers) is reminiscent of Whores., though Ghastly Sound are much more melodic, and that makes for instantly hooky tunes.
The only very minor issue with the EP is that closer “Cuttlefish”, with its Deftones-y shoegaze-y haziness doesn’t end the record with the same oomph that the previous three tracks do; it’s still quite mesmerizing, but it feels like the track order could have been rearranged for maximum impact. No major concern though, as Ghastly Sound are clearly one of the most promising and engaging stoner rock groups to come out of the underground in a long, long time, and this fantastic little EP seems to be a harbinger of the further greatness to come.