Noise Appeal Records [Release date 28.09.18]
Formed in 2014, The Ghost And The Machine are an Austrian ‘post blues’ three piece – Andi Lechner (resonator guitar, lapsteel, vocals), Heidi Fial (double bass, vocals) and Matthias Macht (drums).
While their eponymous debut, released in 2016, was an understated meeting of acoustic blues and indie folk which failed to set the world alight, Red Rain Tires sees The Ghost And The Machine deliver an album with the potential for wider appeal.
Opening with the hypnotic ‘Falling’, Lechner’s busy, almost ‘classical gas’ style of picking is something Lindsey Buckingham would surely appreciate, while a summer of love vibe to the earthy vocals makes for an enthralling listen.
If that’s a signal of intent, then the current single ‘Dirty Mind’ offers the most commercial appeal with its driving rock rhythm, chiming guitar work, and infectious doo-wop harmony vocals.
The dreamy ‘Blue Day/Yellow City’ is another number with a hypnotic rhythm, while the slow and broody lead single ‘Caroline’ squeezes every last ounce of emotion out of the sparse playing, perfectly supplemented a melancholic banjo cameo from Fial.
For an acoustic three piece, the band weave some impressively sonic soundscapes with the plush woody mellowness of Fial’s double bass the perfect counterpoint for the vibrancy of Lechner’s edgy resonator guitar work.
‘Complex Animal’, with its handclaps and bleeding harmonica playing, is another intoxicating number, the haunting ‘Scars’ cuts deep, and ‘Butterflies & Dust’ is mildly anthemic. It all adds up to a surprisingly expansive release, packed with some captivating playing.
As a Blues resurgence converges with the country driven Americana revival, Red Rain Tires sees The Ghost And The Machine perfectly placed to surf that wave. ***1/2
Review by Pete Whalley
On Sunday 28 July 2019, David Randall celebrated his 600th show. “Assume The Position” started in June 2007 on UK City Radio before transferring a year later to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio. The show includes tracks played on the first show plus Upton Blues Festival highlights, new music and the regular features “Live Legends” and “Anniversary Rock” which this week celebrates the Island Records label 60th anniversary.
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Power Plays w/c 19 August (Mon-Fri)
BEFORE FIRE Dead Eyes (indie)
SCOTT & MARIA Never Give Up (indie)
CORELEONI Queen Of Hearts (AFM Records)
BERLIN Transcendance (Cleopatra Records)
PHIL CAMPBELL These Old Boots (Nuclear Blast)
PHIL LANZON Blue Mountain (Phil Lanzon Ditties/Cargo Records UK)
Featured Albums w/c 19 August (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 SOLEIL MOON Warrior (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 ROXY BLUE Roxy Blue (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 DREW HOLCOMB & THE NEIGHBORS Dragons (Magnolia Music/Thirty Tigers)
Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)
JAMES STEVENSON Everything’s Getting Closer To Being Over (2013)
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