Last year we shared a Video Nasty, now UK outfit das Ghoul invite as all to Trip the Light Phantasmic; both ventures to the dark side which we can only lustily recommend.
That 2020 EP was our introduction to the Oxford bred band courtesy of songwriter/ vocalist/guitarist Craig ‘The Plague’ Holton even though their debut album of 2019 had already whipped up strong support and attention elsewhere. Recently he popped up again with the band’s new EP, Trip the Light Phantasmic. As its predecessors, the new outing is a rousing gothic soaked fusion of horror punk, psych rock, and raucous rock ‘n’ roll but one swiftly stamping down its own individuality in breath and impressiveness.
With its line-up completed by Bernard Ghoul-Hefner on bass, drummer Mary Ghoul, and the keys of Octavia Von Wakeman and a tongue firmly in its cheek, das Ghoul uncage tracks which physically arouse whilst lyrically sparking the imagination, and EP opener, Ghost Train, is a fertile example. Rattling carriages and shadow bearing screams draws the song into view, riffs and rhythms aligning in eager temptation as Hammond scented keys spring to life with psych rock endeavour. Vocals equally bear a tenacious intent which incites eager participation, the track brief, untamed and a swiftly addictive slice of rock ‘n’ roll.
The following Twisted saunters in with a melodic flourish and edacious riffs, its Doors-esque instincts soon seducing ears and imagination. There is also an old school punk essence to the outstanding song, an aspect which frequently flavours the band’s encounters for greater captivation.
If Only I Could Remember embraces a more gothic rock inspired hue to its theatre of sound and suggestion next, the track a shadow wrapped waltz with a fiery trim which as its predecessors soon enthralled though Roses are Dead, Violets are Black slightly eclipsed its striking proposal with its stained gothic punk/psych romance. From the swirl of those ever tempting keys to the raw edge of guitars and the picture casting lyrics and vocals, the song relished and rewarded eager attention given.
There is a touch of Specimen meets Flesh For Lulu to the EP’s best track, Dresden Bats an irresistible and quickly addictive mix of goth punk and psych rock which infested body and imagination with viral intent. Its demands and success was inescapable just as that of the similarly bred but uniquely shaped and distinctly psychotic Scissors. Standing side by side with the last as favourite track, it is a rabid slice of rock ‘n’ roll with sanguinary ambition and voracious intent, the band’s mix of theatre, horror and inventive sound maybe at its most striking.
Quite simply, Trip the Light Phantasmic is the finest hellion from the band yet where fun and horror are in tandem with real pleasure borne of its enterprise.
Trip the Light Phantasmic is out now; available @ https://ghoul1.bandcamp.com/album/trip-the-light-phantasmic
Pete RingMaster 11/03/2021
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