Ghosts of Electricity
‘Trolls’ is the upcoming album by former Hamilton, now Auckland-based band, ‘Ghosts of Electricity’.
Ghosts of Electricity has been described in recent times as 'white collar punk', and many of the songs on the album are as riff heavy, short, and fast-paced, as that description suggests. However, rather than having political, anti-establishment lyrical themes aimed at fighting 'the man', which could perhaps be seen as easy pickings in New Zealand currently, the band seem to be largely inward looking, perhaps in a way not too thematically dissimilar to much of the Ramones catalogue. For example, the album starts with the track ‘Saturday Night’; how many punk songs bemoan the ground-hoggishness of “another Saturday night”, have a gothesque opening lyric lamenting “indescribable loneliness”, or that reflect on crying while reading poetry? Another rowdy track is ‘I Met a Man’, which seemingly deals with other insecurities, and so on.
Musically, there is also variability in the album. ‘I Think I’m Okay’ sounds influenced by London Calling-era The Clash, while ‘Between the Lines’ is more of a ballad. One of the highlights, differing greatly from the rest of the album both musically and thematically, is ‘On the Beach’, where the positivity suddenly and unexpectedly shines through. It is far less rowdy, and dare I say more pop, than the other tracks, and it is lovely little song.
If you are already a fan of Ghosts of Electricity, you will already be familiar with ‘Pohuktukawa’, which is a re-recording of a song released twice previously by the band. But Pohuktukawa is a ripper of a song, and I can’t blame them at all for recycling it here. What previously had vocals that sounded somewhat comedic, reminiscent perhaps of something by early King Missile, on this album has a far greater feeling of seriousness. At only a touch over a minute, I wish it were longer. A re-recording of ‘Guatemala’, also from the bands 2013 ‘Don’t Try’ EP, is also included here.
Overall, ‘Trolls’ contains twelve great tracks, including some that really stand out. I highly recommend you give it a listen. Ian Duggan
** Ghosts of Electricity play Nivara Lounge on Oct 16th with Rumpus Room, Tidal Control + Special Guests **