[sic] Magazine

Crooked Ghost – Colors Bleed EP

North Carolina dreampop act Crooked Ghost follow up their terrific album Skeleton House with this new EP. The Ashville quintet blend myriad influences and styles to create a unique cinematic soundscape. The haunted surf country of a Chris Isaak or even Gene Pitney would undoubtedly be in there, as would the UK shoegazer movement and proto acts such as Kitchens Of Distinction.

Colors Bleed comprises four entirely new songs. Opening track ‘Black Rainbow’ is one of two here vying for the ‘lead single’ status. Where actual first release, ‘Sinew In Red’ is more epic and weighty, ‘Black Rainbow’ is the true earworm of this collection. The opener is almost jangle-pop in its execution reminding me somewhat of early to mid James. Next comes ‘Sinew In Red’, dark and confrontational. ‘Golden Blue’ revs up with an exciting gear shift and ‘Bright White Noise’ closes out a (literally) colourful quartet of songs.

Ironically, having mentioned James, frontman Ray Lark croons like a composite of Tim Booth, Brett Anderson and Brian Molko and has bags of personality to match that lofted group of performers. Lyrically too, Clark fascinates. Whilst proudly ‘out’, I still get the impression Lark is wrestling with some issues.

“He who knows the truth
dirty boys with dirty secrets
monsters that crawl into bed from below
and he feels so cold”

Sinew In red

Indeed sex and death permeate most verses here – always a fertile ground for rock ‘n’ roll subject matter.

Crooked Ghost were one of my finds of last year. Skeleton House and now Colors Bleed show the band in a terrific run of form. If they can continue on this arc they could deliver something quite remarkable.


Crooked Ghost – Skeleton House

Artists picks – Crooked Ghost