Rock music isn’t the cutting edge pop music it used to be; arguably, that label would apply to hip hop and electronic dance musics. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a vibrant rock underground. Indeed there is. Across the country there are hundreds of bands taking advantage of low-cost recording technology (both analog and digital) to crank out new records (and, yes, I do mean “records”) informed by rock’s past but performed with contemporary urgency. Ghost of Chance have released a couple of albums on CD-R (now available for purchase as downloads on Bandcamp) and, more recently, the 7″ EP “Paddle Boat.”
Ghost of Chance are an post-garage rock quartet based in New Haven, Connecticut. The group’s distinctive style is characterized by subtle time signature changes and sonically open experimentation set to surrealist lyrics. Ghost of Chance’s sound takes its influence from 1960s psychedelica and garage rock while maintaining the shimmer of classic pop sensibilities. All of this adds to the unique yet familiar sound that Ghost of Chance have cleverly cultivated. Engaging the audience with a anxious energy and the desire to communicate, Ghost of Chance share a sense of imperativeness with great pop predecessors like the 13th Floor Elevators and John Cale—sincerity combined with pop knowledge.
The songs on the “Paddle Boat” EP evoke such frenzied guitar-strumming combos as the Velvet Underground, Luna, The Feelies, Galaxie 500. Pop hooks—particularly in the song “Wooden Tambourine”—swim in a 21st-century haze of guitar overtones and cavernous reverb.
The group is J. Adirondack on guitar and vocals, Mike Mindpilot on drums, Dan on guitar and Jake Ryder on bass.
Some press commentary on recent Ghost of Chance releases:
From the Hartford Courant on the group’s “I Feel Fine” single:
It’s a fast, jangling tune, with a bright guitar part reverberating in what feels like a cavernous, dark space that washes over Jayson Munro’s vocals, which take on an insistent, almost urgent cast as he repeats the refrain. The song has a classic feel that calls to mind alt-rock in the late ’80s and early ’90s: edgy, a little twitchy and definitely compelling.
Ghost of Chance’s “Paddle Boat” 7″ EP made the blog Styrofoam Drone’s list of “Top 30 7″ Records of 2012”:
Ghost of Chance came bearing a peculiar 7″ that blended elements from both garage rock and frothy dream pop, a combination we don’t hear very often. They also mess around with rhythm and tempo mix-ups, making for sudden changes in tracks that occur within moments, requiring close, careful listening.
Check out a couple of Ghost of Chance videos on YouTube. “Go Away”:
Ghost of Chance’s “New Carthage” set to a public domain silent movie:
UPCOMING PERFORMANCE SPACE EVENTS:
• Sunday, Mar. 24. READINGS: JOEANN HART & MATT DEBENHAM
• Wednesday, Mar. 27. PUNK ROCK: STARK RAVING LULU
• Thursday, Mar. 28. FILM SCREENING: STEPHEN DEST’S “MY BROTHER JACK”
• Wednesday, Apr. 3. INDIE ROCK: LYS GUILLORN BAND
• Thursday, Apr. 4. CLASSICAL/BRAZILIAN: HAVEN STRING QUARTET with SAMBELEZA
• Wednesday, Apr. 10. BLUEGRASS: RAGWEED
• Thursday, Apr. 11. SINGER-SONGWRITER: ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND
• Wednesday, Apr. 17. SINGER-SONGWRITER: ESTHER GOLTON
• Monday, Apr. 22. FILM SCREENING FOR “WHAT WOULD YOU DO?” SERIES: “WALK ON WATER”
• Thursday, Apr. 25. JAZZ: THE NICK Di MARIA QUARTET
• Wednesday, May 8. INDIE ROCK: POOLS ARE NICE