Because of Ghosts – ‘This Culture of Background Noise’

September 28, 2008 § Leave a comment

Published: The Big Issue, #313, September 2008.

This Culture of Background Noise
Because of Ghosts
****

A title along the lines of This Culture of Background Noise fits the Because of Ghosts back catalogue impeccably.

The brotherly Melbourne trio’s organic take on post-rock – expounded over countless self-produced and released EPs, and of course, their stunning 2006 debut album The Tomorrow We Were Promised Yesterday – has seen them make an art out of sonic flotsam and jetsam. A door closing, a hailstorm pounding on the studio roof, a dropped drumstick; it all takes its place in the mix.

It’s somewhat of a surprise, then, that their second album avoids background noise at almost any cost. Recorded at Montreal’s Hotel2Tango by production luminary Howard Bilerman, this is by far Because of Ghosts’ most direct, focused and crystalline effort to date.

Over eight rippling vignettes, the trio’s core of guitars, bass and drums collide and coalesce in full view. The wondrous minor key melodic drifts, the stunning tonal detail, the ebb and flow of tension and release all peal out clear and stark. It makes for some of their most accomplished oeuvres to date; the stunning ‘Canadia’, ‘The Battle of Mont Royal’ and ‘The Content is Irrelevant’ included.

Background noise this record surely is not.

Dan Rule

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