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Ghost BC

If You Have Ghost

(Universal Republic; US: 19 Nov 2013; UK: 18 Nov 2013)

Pointless EP Of Throwaway Cover Tunes

Here’s a weird little curiosity from gimmicky hard-rockers Ghost BC: a five-track EP consisting of four covers and a live track. For hardcore fans of the band, this might be worth picking up, but it’s of little-to-no interest to anybody else. Lead track “If You have Ghosts”, originally by Roky Erickson, is watery and forgettable, a series of musical and lyrical clichés that are better forgotten by all involved. The rest of the EP is little better: ABBA’s “I’m a Marionette” channels some phony angst through an unconvincing, pop-rock structure that feels ill-suited to the material, while power ballad “Crucified” from Army of Lovers reveals the shortcomings of mask-wearing vocalist Papa Emiritus II – namely, that his idea of badassery consists of aping Vince Neil circa 1983. Someone should really tell him that it’s tough to sound badass when singing lines like “It’s raining cats and dogs,” but on second thought, that might be the least of his worries.


Depeche Mode’s “Waiting for the Night” is dull, but at least avoids being simply embarrassing, while closing live track “Secular Haze” is the strongest thing here. It’s fairly redundant, though, not being significantly different from the studio track that appeared on last year’s well-received Infestissumam full-length. This set amounts to nothing more than an unnecessary, embarrassing, pointless five-track. Any questions?

Rating:

DAVID MAINE is a novelist and essayist. His books include The Preservationist (2004), Fallen (2005), The Book of Samson (2006), Monster, 1959 (2008) and An Age of Madness (2012). He has contributed to The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Esquire.com and NPR.com, among other outlets. He is a lifelong music obsessive whose interests range from rock to folk to hip-hop to international to blues. He currently lives in western Massachusetts, where he works in human services. Catch up with his blog, The Party Never Stops, at davidmaine.blogspot.com, or become his buddy on Facebook (or Twitter or Google+ or whatever you prefer) to keep up with reviews and other developments.


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