Haunted House – Blue Ghost Blues – album review

Haunted House – Blue Ghost Blues (Northern Spy Records)
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After a decade away Haunted House are back with an album full of compelling ethereal experimentalism.

Andrew Burns and Neel Murgai have reunited with husband and wife duo Loren Connors and Suzanne Langille to reform Haunted House after an absence of over a decade. Burns and Langille had been working on several projects, each a different incarnation of their reverb laden alternative sermons. The return of the original band has caused great excitement amongst those in the know.

A swirling mix of distortion, Indian hand percussion and a complete lack of any bass, it makes for an unusual and occasionally uncomfortable combination, yet it remains compelling and, dare I say it, haunting.

It’s a desolate and bleak world which ”˜Haunted House’ inhabits. One that is as confusing and terrifying as it is ethereal. The Birthday Party interpreted through Diamanda Galas would be one way to describe them.

At just under 40 minutes running time, it’s a difficult listen and will definitely be a challenge for those who are not a fan of the experimental or avant-garde. ”˜Blue Ghost Blues’ is closer in style to label mates Diamond Terrifier, who recently released an equally challenging, but rewarding album in ”˜Kill The Self That Wants To Kill The Self’ a few weeks ago.

Those with an affinity for John Cage and Thurston Moore will definitely discover something enjoyable in this album; fans of John Lee Hooker and Gary Moore will not.

It does, at times, sound like we’ve walked into the middle of a jam session. This chaos and spontaneity only serves to add to the appeal. These are of course essential elements of the blues.

All words by Colin McCracken. You can read more from Colin on LTW here, on his website or follow him on Twitter.


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