Ghost Of The Avalanche – Hide The Truth (Casseblank Records)
Limited edition ‘blood-red’ cassette / DL
Out 13th of September 2013.
Bath based self proclaimed “two-piece noise punks” Ghost Of The Avalanche impress Louder Than War’s Ian Critchley with their first long player.
The artist description I received placed this band in the same vein as Black Flag, The Hives, and The Bronx, among others, and I couldn’t work out what an amalgamation of all these different sounds would result in. That was until I realised what all these acts had in common…The Stooges.
And this is exactly what the Ghost Of The Avalanche’ssound is reminiscent of. Of course it isn’t nearly as wild, I don’t think anyone could ever top the insanity of Iggy, but regardless the record is a solid outing with a number of classics that would instantly get the band a thumbs up from not just the punks, the hardcore kids, and the old rockers, but perhaps even the indie boppers too. Take for example tracks The Park and Reality TV’ which, while maintaining an acutely hard-rock ethos, lend themselves slightly to some pop playability (like the aforementioned Hives) that would probably sit well with the more grungy readers of the NME (this is meant as a compliment, though the NME is for cliché ball bags).
Production wise the record is let down slightly. While a more muddy sound does wonders for music of this sort, Hide The Truth pushes this a little too far and the guitar parts often become over-distorted and this actually takes away from the rawness intended, instead of complimenting it. Album closer ‘Ghost Train’ is a fine example of this exact issue. However, being the first record of this UK based duo, this may simply be due to financial restraints in production, rather than an intended outcome, and will no doubt be something unheard of in later releases.
While the album is not without faults these lie more with the recording process and less with the music. It’s a strong début album from a band with great potential who will no doubt be kicking a plethora of arse throughout their musical journey….plus the album art for this record is just great.
All words by Ian Critchley. More writing by Ian on Louder Than War can be found at his author’s archive.