Because Of Ghosts – This Culture Of Background Noise (Feral Media)

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The hopelessly titled but rather grandiose genre known to many as post-rock (capital letters apparently not necessary) has indeed lost its lustre over the years. Mogwai came to terms with the fact that they were just a bunch of Scottish football jocks and now compose soundtracks for like-minded others, Sigur Ros are writing three-minute pop songs and Godspeed You! Black Emperor wisely imploded before things went awry. None of these messages, it seems, have reached the ears of Melbourne band, Because Of Ghosts, who apparently are on a quiet crusade to help keep the once epic sound of post-rock alive.

On their second album, their 11th release since forming in 2002, this time working with former members of Godspeed!, Because Of Ghosts have put together a series of languid guitar and drum workouts the flow into each other on short waves of brittle beats and melody.

Unfortunately for the group, though, the most beautiful moments are when they step away from the instruments. “Heroes Are People Too’ is a glorious snippet of lazy tape-loop interlude that could have be an outtake from a sober session during the making of Loveless. And the strings that open “Canadia’ are filled with a pathos the band can’ quite achieve with their own songs.

It’d be too easy and rather crude for anyone to dismiss them as the Dirty Three minus Warren Ellis (a quip they’ve no doubt had levelled at them in years previous) but they do have sense of danger in their music, the improvised nature, whilst never reaching the climaxes their chosen style pertains to, does provide the listener with an excited fear that they could veer of in any direction at any given moment. Provided its one that involves humourless guitars and downcast eyes.

Joel Hedrick

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