Tag: Cool Ghouls

The Mighty Orchid King · Swirling

Throughout its history, the St. Albans, UK-based psych rock collective The Mighty Orchid King — currently, Jonny Bennett (vocals, drums), co-found er Martin van Herdeer (12 string guitar), Matt Snowden (guitar), Marcelo Cervone (bass, sax) and Will Stephen, a.k.a June Logue (synths and production) — have been in a constant flux since its founding, with 20 members rotating in and out of its sphere at nay given time. And as a result, the project has simultaneously been a 60s psych rock jam inspired collective and a bedroom project focused on polyrhythmic exploration.

The band’s forthcoming full-length debut The Doctrine of Infinite Kindness was recorded at June Logue’s home studio, DIY bedroom vocal booths and Tom Hill’s London-based Bookhouse Studio — and the album reportedly finds the act weaving the various aspects of the band’s complex history together: the album’s more jam inspired material drift and sharpe into more meticulously developed solo work. Thematically, the album thematically concerns itself with eco-anxiety with the album’s lyrics at points being like Kerouac-inspired spontaneous prose with direct protest songs about the destruction of Earth. While sonically, the album sees the band drawing from 60s psych rock, samba, jazz and house music with arrangements that feature fuzzy guitars and synths.

“Swirling,” the first single off The Doctrine of Infinite Kindness‘ first single is an an expansive and decidedly 60s psych rock inspired track centered around fuzzy power chords and enormous harmony driven hooks. Sonically, the song brings San Francisco‘s  Cool Ghouls to mind — while bristling with an infectious energy of a bunch of friends jamming and creating something cool. But at its core is a desire to escape one’s current circumstances and the world itself.








New Video: The Playful and Menacing Visuals for Cool Ghouls’ “(If I Can’t Be) The Man”

With the release of 2014’s A Swirling Fire Burning Through the Rye, the San Francisco, CA-based psych rock/indie rock quartet Cool Ghouls, comprised of Pat Thomas, Ryan Wong, Pat McDonald, and Alex Fleshman, received a growing national profile for a sound that’s clearly indebted to The Byrds, Crosby, Stills, and Nash, Neil Young, Creedence Clearwater Revival and classic psych rock as their material is generally comprised of jangling guitar chords, simple yet propulsive percussion and layered, multi-part harmonies. Last year’s Animal Races further cemented their growing profile and reputation for crafting jangling guitar rock straight out of 1966-1970 or so; in fact, you may recall that last year I wrote about album singles “Sundial” and “Spectator.”

Currently, the band is on tour to support Animal Races and a limited release, tour-only cassette Gord’s Horse but interestingly enough, Animal Races’ latest single is the twangy, Grateful Dead and Everybody Says This Is Nowhere-era Neil Young–leaning bit of psych rock “(If I Can’t) Be The Man.”

Directed, shot and edited by Ry Pieri, the recently released video for “(If I Can’t) Be The Man” features the members of Cool Ghouls as cheap beer drinking clowns in a park and it’s all fun and games until the drunkenness turns rather dark.

Comprised of Michael Ellis, Ryan Ellis, Lewis McGuinness, Lloyd Shearer, and Benjamin Robinson, the members of Liverpool-based shoegaze quintet The Vryll Society have quickly become JOVM favorites over the better part of the past year for crafting material that initially had been largely inspired by FunkadelicAphrodite’s Child, krautrock and classic shoegaze.

While “Coshh,” the second single off the band’s debut EP Pangea consisted of a tight, motorik-like groove, propulsive, four-on-the-floor drumming, shimmering guitar chords played through layers of reverb and other effects pedals, atmospheric electronics that helped evoke a cosmic sheen and an anthemic hook, Self-Realization,” Pangea‘s third  nodded at  The Verve, as the song structurally twisted, turned and bent at weird and unpredictable angles — with guitar work that also subtly nodded at Nick McCabe’s expansive and expressive sound. The Liverpool-based shoegazers followed those singles with “La Jette,” an ethereal and dreamy single that nodded at contemporary, 6os inspired shoegazers such as  Elephant StoneSleepy Sun, Cool Ghouls and others.


The band’s latest single “A Perfect Rhythm” manages to simultaneously be a refinement of their sound and a return to form (of sorts) as the band retains the shimmering guitar chords played through a bit of reverb and effects pedals, a tight, motorik-like groove, a rousingly anthemic hook with a complex, rolling drum pattern, plaintive, falsetto vocals and an expansive song structure fittingly held together by the rhythm section. Interestingly enough while the song reminds me quite a bit of A Storm in Heaven-era The Verve, the song also reminds me of A Perfect Circle as it it possesses a broodingly Romantic undercurrent.