Ghost of the Russian Empire, with fiercest demolition

Ghost of the Russian Empire, with fiercest demolition

The easiest verdict for an album is how many tracks you skip past. When you get a new CD and you only skip maybe two songs, even after repeated listens, that’s probably a sign of a damn good CD.

With that in mind, consider that with fiercest demolition, the debut album by Ghost of the Russian Empire, is an EP that tracks in at only six songs (right about 30 minutes), and yet I only skipped one song (“Psychomedicated”). Cha-ching! The CD opens up with a spaghetti-western trumpet line that then gets chased around by a distant drumbeat. Brandon Whitten’s buzzing vocals sneak in with some acoustic guitar strumming, creating an air of dread. Stories unfold about “earthquake seas” and empires. The songs pulse with fear about “invasion plans,” and you wonder whether the band is thinking about extinct societies, as their moniker would suggest, or something closer to home.

The rich sound brings to mind the atmospherics of South, with a resemblance to the Appleseed Cast’s Christopher Crisci in Whitten’s vocals. The drilling guitar onslaught of “The Sovereign and a Sword,” in the vein of OK Computer, is a knockout track. The band has an eerily developed sound, given their recent formation and lack of major label dollars. They have a rainy, London-y feel, yet hail from the “frigid tundra” of central Texas. Keep an eye on these guys as they give chase to those other solemn Texan bands-with-long-names, Explosions in the Sky and I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness.

(Thirty Ghosts Records -- 8707 Coastal Dr., Austin, TX. 78749; http://www.thirtyghostsrecords.com/; Ghost of the Russian Empire -- http://www.ghostoftherussianempire.com/)
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Review by . Review posted Friday, July 14th, 2006. Filed under Reviews.

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