On each of their albums, TV Ghost have traded a little of their explosiveness for a slower-burning approach. After kicking up Cramps and Scientists-shaped clouds of black dust on their first full-length, Cold Fish, they pared and slowed things down a bit on Mass Dream, which even in its most crazed moments felt more deliberately paced and structured than their debut. Disconnect is sparer and darker still, with a cleaner production (courtesy of Ty Segall collaborator Chris Woodhouse) that fits its moody epics. This time around, TV Ghost are more brooding than fierce: the guitars and keyboards don't pierce, they drone, and Tim Gick's vocals are more likely to be a chanted murmur than a maniacal scream. Spacious, whispery tracks like "Others Will Be Born" and "Placid Deep" are downright low-key compared to what they've done before, and the gloomy post-punk leanings the band hinted at on Mass Dream come to the surface. Hints of the Cure and especially Echo & the Bunnymen (as well as a bit of Can-style Krautrock) can be heard throughout, especially in the frosty psychedelia of "Cloud Blue Moments." More contemporarily, Disconnect recalls Primary Colours-era Horrors in "Veils"' trippy yet relentless rhythms, and even a rawer version of Interpol's glamorous anguish on "Stranger." Crucially, TV Ghost hold onto enough of their punk/garage roots to give these songs more bite than many of their like-minded contemporaries, whether on the snarling "A Maze of Death" or the shimmering "Elevator" and "Siren." Disconnect bears evidence of a few growing pains; the theatrical vocals that complemented the mayhem on Cold Fish and Mass Dream sound overdone on more somber tracks like "Five Colors Blind," and the weirder edge of the band's previous work is missed every now and then. Still, TV Ghost have expanded their horizons considerably here, and Disconnect offers some of their most accomplished music yet.
|Label:||In The Red Records|