(2010, Cape and Chalice/Infinite Dront)
RIYL = Dragging An Ox Through Water, Castanets, Gowns
A buzzing, gothic sermon, hammered into place over a wobbly cello, specked at the edges and then into a heavy, multi-stringed, minor chord reprieve – that’s how things begin on Ghost To Falco’s Exotic Believers and it’s absolutely invigorating. Like a perfect splash of cold water to renew your sense of feeling and place, the operation of your fingers and feet. Swimming about amongst the wonderfully productive experimental scene brewing about in the northwest, Ghost To Falco plays a dark Americana that does a lot to fill the inestimable gap left, just this year, by geographical neighbors, both in location and sound, Gowns. Those are big boots to fill (in my eyes), and no one is claiming that Ghost To Falco is trying to fill them, but in his own way, this project, this album, Exotic Believers, fills that void for me. The irony here is that Ghost To Falco fills that void with another void. Exotic Believers collapses country into a barbed, black hole that sucks you in, body and soul. It’s no surprise that the man is good friends with Forest Gospel favourite Dragging An Ox Through Water. Both employ a variety of sound bending/destroying effects to their music, though to results unique to each. Suffice it to say, if you like one, you’re likely to enjoy the other. Ghost To Falco’s songs do feel, in comparison, to have a bit more muscle, a bit more guitar control, which flexes at different points throughout the album. The vocals are strong, often multi tracked, lapping one upon another. And there is a couple loose, noise-punk freakouts waiting around the edges. So, slightly more aggressive, but not overly so. With all these elements in play, you won’t be surprised to learn that Exotic Believers is certainly one of the better albums I’ve heard all year. Do yourself a favor and give it a listen – you won’t be disappointed.