A horrible hack

Ghost Notes

Moonlight State

Year Released: 2014
Format: LP
Label: Sonic Masala
 
Reviewed by MH on Nov 22, 2014
This is the third time I've written about a Sonic Masala release following on from the noisy shoegaze of Roku Music's "Collider" LP and the fuzzed-up indie rock of Tape/Off's "Chipper" which both materialised earlier this year. Ghost Notes are fellow Brisbaners like those two bands but sound nothing like them. It should also be noted that whilst this record falls broadly under the term post rock, it sounds rather unlike the usual suspects I'd associate with that type of music. I have a bit of a limited list of references as far as post rock goes as I've only ever scratched the surface of it but on hearing this band for the first time I wasn't likely to mistake them for, say, Mogwai, Explosions In The Sky or Mono. There are similar moments to those bands, for sure, particularly on the more delicate, quiet parts but there are less of the soaring guitars and there is also a trumpet which is prevalent throughout and leads many of the tracks. Opener, "Vanishing Point" is ushered in with small steps but it builds and twists and turns throughout its 13 minutes and 19 seconds. From that point on, it is by turn, sad, beautiful and hectic. With that said, this is quite an involving record. For me, post rock often has a tendency to be something I can let wash over me in the background but the structure and sounds here are far more involving particularly in the more hectic moments and changes of pace. They do a fine turn in atmospherics too although again it's not just your standard post rock fare. "Split Solitary" tumbles in chaotically with shades of more experimental noise rock and the trumpet is off on all sorts of tangents before it returns to a more solemn and fragile ending. "Tendrils" is almost eerie at times - the trumpet is looser here and more chaotic. The title track towards the end is keys-led - sad, delicate and measured - maybe my favourite track on here. I read that this record was partly recorded at The Waiting Room in Brisbane which recently closed down. This was a fantastic little venue which was an old house with most of the internal walls taken out. I saw Treehouse play there when I first arrived in Australia. A bunch of cool bands have played there the past few years and it's a travesty that it got shut down.

Back to the record, something I need to read more into is the politics involved here.The track titles are references to all sorts of occurences involving Brisbane and its past. "Pig City" is referred to. I read a book by that name a couple of months back and it told me a lot about the music scene, policing and politics within this city over the last few decades. Eye-opening stuff to say the least. This label is relatively new but has impressed me every time so far in terms of both quality and the fact they're releasing music across a range of genres. With me being in Brisbane, this is a huge help for me in finding locals bands to get into and go and see.


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