Ghost Wave: Ghost Wave EP
By Jonathan Carson
Ghost Wave is hauntingly hip. Like an acid-inspired séance with the spirits of post-punk their self-titled debut EP struts a fine line between creepy and cool. Recorded over winter 2010 in their garage ‘ghost cave’ in Auckland, the 7-track EP channels ’70s krautrock, psychedelic jingly jangle, and the melodic rock ‘n’ roll of the ’60s. The instrumentation is moody and spacious, doused in atmospheric, airy post-processing, which gives it that charming vintage flavour – the twangy guitar tones cut through the ambient haze and the rhythm section drives with punk aggression. There are unavoidable comparisons with The Clean and Joy Division – that jam-band attitude where it sounds like they hit ‘record’ on a 4-track and spun out a recording in one take. It is singer Matt Paul’s gift for melody that sets this four-piece apart from the drab derivatives of modern indie. Like a paradoxical hybrid of Elliot Smith, and dare I say it, The Beach Boys, Paul broods with a hypnotic optimism. Tracks of note include opener and shoe-shuffler Sounds, debut single Sunsetter, which spent three weeks at No.1 on the bNet airplay charts, and the feel-good Gold. As the latest addition to the Arch Hill Recordings stable, Ghost Wave is sure to sit well with fans of their label mates.