Album Review: Ghost Babes Compilation 1

Ghost Babes Compilation 1

Ghost Babes CompilationReleased 23rd February 2015

Words: Nick Jacques

This “record” label is, to my knowledge, the first of its kind. The premise is a DIY cassette label based here in sunny London and its purpose is to promote new American bands whose influences trawl through various genres of rock music like surf, slacker, garage and indie.

What attracted me to do this review was not only the clever notion of releasing music on a retro music listening device but mainly the memories it brought back of compiling music as a teenager. I’ll never forget the days of making up random selections of music and going through the motions of putting them together. Wandering down to Ourprice or Virgin Megastore and buying a stacks of blank TDK (or Maxell!) cassettes and foraging through my CDs and spending hours trying to figure out how cohesive the compilations should be etc

Anyway, enough digressing. The 1st Ghost Babes compilation is a small but by no means a minor triumph over the sugar-coated rock music we’re pummelled with these days. What this compilation says to me is”Corporate record label trash?….. UP YOURS!”
I love the fact that this compilation is made up of independent rock bands and the production quality is definitely DIY and these bands pour with sweat and passion for their art. These bands are clearly wanting to make a lasting impression that will want to stay with the listener and that’s also credit to the person who has put this much-loved compilation together.

Stand out tracks for me include the pint-sized chorus chants of The So So Glos – Diss Town. It’s not exactly an original sound and it lends more than a nod to someone like the Libertines, but the track has passion and you can just feel the joy and intensity this band would bring to the stage.

The Baby Ghosts track impresses because it reminds me of The Hold Steady a bit – guitars rumble along with enthusiasm and coupled with impassioned vocals and clashing drums.
The slap dash drums of Tip Of My Tongues by Total Babes along with the fuzzy guitar tweaks make for promising listen too.
One of my favourites is the early REM-ish twangs of LVL UP and their offering Stoned Alone. It sounds like it’s parked up somewhere between Reckoning and Fables of the reconstruction – quite refreshing to hear.

The consistency of this compilation doesn’t let up there and it continues to impress on tracks like on Bleeding Rainbow’s So You Know. The guitar theatrics make for a compelling sound. Other little triumphs include Beverley and their track Madora again it has something of an early REM feel to it but with a welcome splash of the Pixies thrown into the mix. Definitely a band to keep a look out for. In fact most of these bands have definitely got something going for them, if this compilation is anything to go by.

The intricate drumming and buzzing pixie- guitar feedback of Boytoy proves to be yet another great track on this compilation which continues to surprise the listener. Painted Zeros –Too Drunk has a hazey pavement feel to it which is a big tick in my book.

The last 2 tracks tone down the compilations’ ode to DIY surfer rock with a track from Bellows – who’s offering White Sheet provides us with the sombre note on the first Ghost Babes Comp and plays us out with a simple but resonant acoustic strumming with random distortions which work really well then the final song is by Dee Dee Mayo – a lazy surfer track experimenting with background hollers and tropical atmospherics which see out the Ghost Babes compilation on a brilliant and compelling note.

This a cassette label which I think will blossom if enough time and effort is continually put into these compilations!

Watch the video for So You Know by Bleeding Rainbow here:

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