Walter Sickert & The Army of Broken Toys – Ghost Parade

The key was placed, the lock undone and the asylum freed to imbue the world of imagination and curiosity; an invitation to their arcane world of adventure seductively hosted within the dark beauty of the Ghost Parade.

Ghost Parade is the new album from WALTER SICKERT & THE ARMY OF BROKEN TOYS, a band out of Boston aptly described as “a Dada-esque circus carnival run amuck”. Indeed, it is a collective of the sharpest, most inventive, and boldly peculiar artists and musicians presenting similarly unique and accomplished songwriting and imagination; indeed a carnival of the uncanny, bizarre and a dark fascination.

Describing the band’s sound will always walk the vague such its kaleidoscopic presence, invention and character but certainly within Ghost Parade, we get to embrace steampunk, vaudeville, dark rock, and poetic pop but again so much more. There is also a dark cinematic essence to the release, each track transporting the imagination into realms caught in the mystery of tenebrific romance, eerie seduction or aberrant trespass.

Written and recorded in the 28 days of February for the RPM Challenge, an annual creative challenge to anyone to record original music in that particular month and something the band has closely connected with since the 1st RPM challenge eighteen years ago, Ghost Parade instantly immerses ears in its crepuscular world with its title track. Electronic tempting  courtesy of  Rachel Jayson ‘s keytar instantly beckons its finger, its veiled intent a seductive hook soon courted by the vibrant pulse of Mike Leggio’s bass and the flitting percussion of drummer Matt Zappa. Within those same seconds, ears and thoughts were bound in its caliginous welcome, the harmonic calls of Mary Widow and Edrie calling from the shadows before Walter Alice Sickert steps forward with a collusion of perpetrator, villain and fearing victim in his voice. The track engulfed and recruited our fascination and imaginations soon found themselves lost in its creative corridors and atypical wonder.

Meet Me On The Moon follows with its shimmering serenade, the brooding breath of sound and Sickert instantly compelling as they provide the vehicle to dark yet seductively emotive places while Keep My Head presents its own dilemma of captivation and freedom with delicious creative nagging. Both tracks bear a fifties cured rock ‘n’ roll air, the first as if it was orchestrated in a David Lynch bred realm and the second with a scuzzy Buddy Holly-esque virulence, the guitars of Sickert and Brother Bones (aka Blake Girndt) a senses rasping pleasure.

That multi-faceted lure of the album is further unveiled through the art rock tinged Mixing Stars, the track a funk nurtured, new wave twisted proposal manipulating feet, hips and pleasure within seconds before 2nd Paragraph with its spoken word thoughts within misshapen textures nurtured lusty attention ready for the phantom zone of Alive On TV. Spectral amid a radiance of melodic oscillation, the outstanding song proved as haunting as it was hypnotic with Sickert’s on edge tones ensuring some sort of grip on reality.

 Across the mystical beauty and longing of Walk On Water, an evocative romance crafted in suggestion, drama and the seduction of Jayson’s viola, and Come To The Dawn with its sorcery of raw guitar and wobble kilned vocals, it is fair to say that ears and pleasure were only drawn deeper into the release with both only intensifying their union through next up Pump.

Our favourite track is an addiction of electro punk manipulation and an esurient orchestration of instinctive movement and involvement. Sound flickers and pulsates like incorporeal instigators as rhythms drive song and physical subservience, the two and a half minutes of its incitement quickly our breathless addiction.

 Ghost Parade closes with Alien Family, a ballad courting isolation, loneliness and alienation with mesmeric charm and emotive captivation, the track providing a superb end to an irresistible spectacle of sound, artistry and eldritch wonder. Every track is an adventure into the extraordinary world and craft of WALTER SICKERT & THE ARMY OF BROKEN TOYS and all a spark for the richest pleasure.

Ghost Parade is out now; available as a name your price download @

Pete RingMaster 10/03/2023

Copyright RingMaster Review

Categories: Album, Music

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