[sic] Magazine

First Glances – Ghost Outfit

When an unknown support band near damn pins you against the back wall with every overblown beat, it’s inevitable that you’ll strain forward into the ensuing maelstrom to take notice. And, when you later hear stories of them tackling fully-fledged gigs upstairs on popular bus routes, you can’t help but investigate further.

So, whilst the set on the number 42 appears to have been a one-off, the Ghost Outfit duo, which consists of Jake (guitar) and Mike (drums), are nevertheless the current go-to guys in Manchester for filling out regular rough-edged and/or abrasively shoegaze bills. Naturally therefore, their recently self-produced Young Ghosts EP is a little (read a lot) frayed.

Although there’s a clear distinction between sides one and two, where two is far more at peace with itself when compared with the raw sonics on one, there’s a sense of symmetry to the EP all the same as both sides open with recognisable “song” structures before then trailing off into noise territory – not to mention that both run riot with low-to-non-existent fidelity.

Just as side one kicks off with the broken pop of “I Was Good When I Was Young”, a track which is full of tinny echo, speaker-blown surges and hints at Japandroids , so too does side two launch into the altogether cleaner “Boy”. What initially seems out of place – its discernible lyrics and harmless sea of nodding, plodding guitar – begins to make more sense as the track latterly evolves into enviably scuffed slacker-pop.

This leaves the remainder of side one to run with an industrial shoegaze vibe, careening from graunching mechanics, overloaded vocal drone and enough white noise to make Weekend -offshoot Grem proud. That, in doing so, it almost recalls [sic] favourites A Grave With No Name is a real bonus. In turn, side two slowly dissolves into dreamy guitar echoes and atmospheric snippets of windblown vocal drift.

With the exceptions of the catchy “I Was Good When I Was Young” and the horizontal musings of “Boy”, there’s work to be done here to make the majority of this a viable product outside of the realm of hyper-niche extremophilia, but there’s potential here. Ghost Outfit definitely have greater shreds of substance than their chosen moniker currently affords them.

Ghost Outfit @ bandcamp