Holiday Ghosts – West Bay Playroom [IMPORT WHITE VINYL] – New LP
Fire up that slant six and let's go motoring out to the outskirts, and if we can't find exactly what it's all about, at least we can crank some Sam & Dave, Bobby Womack, and NRBQ and have some fun trying to run it down, or just lounge in the backyard and flip that chicken and don't worry about that rust bucket that you'll never get running anyway...lounging like a Kinks afternoon in the summertime... while this band's first set seemed Modern Lovers channeled through Flying Nun and the other influences were easy to miss, and while these influences clearly remain and The Modern Lovers might be this band's biggest influence, and this one still focuses on the songs, it sounds more like it might be inspired by other underground rock outfits that surfaced in the mid 1970s in the wake of Velvet Underground, especially the ones that clearly showed some Memphis influence. While this didn't seem true with the debut, much of the inspiration (or at least some) for this UK band's second album might have come from Tennessee, directly and/or via other bands. Listening to this reminds me of when I was a teenager in the 1970s and listening to WIDR FM discovering all these great underground rock bands from the Rust Belt and the East Coast who clearly grew up on the Velvet Underground and the Black music of Memphis (and the Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, the Kinks, The Yardbirds, the Stones...) but also were trying to create something new without getting caught up on trying too hard, clearly picking up some licks from records of decades past (garage rock n roll, rockabilly, rhythm & blues) but who cares, not going for the abandonment I dig so much, but not stiff and stifled like some new wave bull dookie, coming from the heart and punching you on the shoulder. -- winch
Holiday Ghosts with their second LP West Bay Playroom, the follow-up to their acclaimed self-titled debut. Originally starting out as a solo project from Sam Stacpoole the band evolved into a partnership with Katja Rackin, before turning into a full band with the debut album – showcasing a primitive rock ’n’ roll sound that’s been compared to The Modern Lovers and The Velvet Underground alongside current garage rock acts, and praised by the likes of The FADER, Stereogum, BrooklynVegan and KEXP. For West Bay Playroom the band’s refined their sound, with Stacpoole and Rackin being joined by Ryan Cleave on bass and Charlie Fairbairnon on guitar, offering a more focused set of songs while breaking new ground and experimenting with influences from country, blues, pop, punk, spaghetti western soundtracks and more.