Fronted by former Sybris singer/guitarist Angela Mullhouer, Chicago quartet Touched By Ghoul have tamed their noise attack just enough on their sophomore LP, Cancel The World, out December 3 through Under Road Records, embracing an aggressive melodicism and cynicism a la Pom Pom Squad, WAAX, Amyl & The Sniffers.

Listen to album opener “Better Than Me” below:

Touched By Ghoul recorded Cancel The World at Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio in July 2019 with the title already in place. They mixed it in January 2020, and then the world was actually cancelled. After idling for months, the album was sent for pressing the vinyl to support tour dates. Tours were again cancelled. And, the pressing plant’s press was broken. Cancelled once more.

Of course, everyone’s been through the wringer over the past couple of years, and some much more severe than this. But, Cancel The World may just be the forbidden music so many artists have sought to make. Ironically, the album finds the band taming its aggressive Birthday Party meets Babes In Toyland noise-rock attack ever so slightly in order to embrace melodies and allow their tousled cynicism to truly shine on songs like “Better Than Me,” “Lost At The Costco” and the LP’s title track.

The intrepid group—rounded out by guitarist Andrea Bauer and the rollicking rhythm section of bassist Alex Shumard and drummer Paige Sandlin—made their debut with 2016’s Murder Circus (also on Chicago imprint Under Road Records) and, for a while, things were going pretty great pre-pandemic.

At last, with nothing more than this album on the horizon, for the time being, Touched By Ghoul are here to undo whatever star-crossed curse they’ve brought unto the world, one gloriously weird, catchy song at a time.

Pre-order Cancel The World here.

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