Empty Body, the crushing new full-length from Wellington, New Zealand-based post-metal unit SPOOK THE HORSES is out now via Pelagic Records. Following the calm and sublime People Used To Live Here, Empty Body rears its head with distortion levels cranked up, tempos sped up, and songs condensed and stripped down to the bare, ugly essentials. Indeed, Empty Body comes as a brutal wake-up call within the rampant COVID-19 fatigue and an unexpected surprise in almost every regard. “We’ve always been both a heavy and a quiet band. An entire album of our prettier, more bittersweet inclinations demands a reply of our most aggressive and confrontational. The pendulum must swing back the other way,” comments multi-instrumentalist Callum Gay. Stream Empty Body at THIS LOCATION.
View the band’s previously released videos for “Inheritance” and “Cell Death” HERE.Empty Body is available on CD, LP, and digital formats HERE. Fans of Breach, Cult Of Luna, Converge, Trap Them, Old Man Gloom, and Baptists, pay heed. Imagine a band where members can rotate between instruments, because every band member can play every instrument. SPOOK THE HORSES are such a band. And it is perhaps this multi-instrumentalism and virtuosity that explains the vast musical territory that is explored across the band’s four albums. While 2011’s debut album Brighter was defined by sweet post-rock crescendos, 2015’s Rainmaker was a much heavier affair. People Used To Live Here (2017) created an atmosphere of quiet desolation, raw and real, desperate and unsettling: the post-apocalyptic soundtrack to abandoned places, where people used to live, at one point in time, long ago.”Since we started work on People Used To Live Here years ago we knew the album would need a follow-up that was radically different – almost spitefully different – if only to utterly refuse any trite suggestion that we might be “maturing” or mellowing out with time,” Gay explains. “We’d written the song ‘Self Destroyer’ (off Empty Body) somehow concurrently with the early People Used To Live Heredemos and it had a sense of momentum to it that immediately engaged us. Once that energy was there it was an obvious choice for the next record, compressing our intuitive emotive peaks into raw forward motion. We all wrote collectively with the new focus in mind.”
Constantly touring around the USA, Sawyer Fredericks shows no signs of stopping on spreading his musical talent across the country. Though only 20 years of age, this remarkable individual is authentic and raw with his deliverance when it comes to his performance. With a slue of close musicians accompanying him on this tour, you have Gannon Ferrell on bass, Jerome Goosman on guitar, and Chris Thomas on drums. These adroit fellows all work in harmony. The set consisted of old and new material. Mixed in with songs from his upcoming album “Flowers For You”, his most recent full-length release “Hide Your Ghost”, and older material from “A Good Storm”. He also did a few covers throughout the night, which in my opinion, blew out of the water.
You would think just based on listening to the studio albums alone, it would be purely folk/blues-based. Oh, how we’re dead wrong. Put together the instruments that are used for the live performance(s), and holy cannoli. It’s like rock folk in the best way possible. The storytelling within the songs is that of a seasoned veteran songwriter. I cannot fathom enough how much I would recommend seeing him in person.
All in and all, Sawyer’s performances keep getting better and better. The first time I saw him was back in 2018. He was fantastic then, he’s even more potent with energy now. To top it off, he’s a genuinely sweet individual and down to Earth. Fame can be overwhelming to most, but for this young man, it’s made him work harder and want to spread his unquestionable devotedness to keep true to himself and his music.
Sawyer is soon to be releasing his upcoming album “Flowers for You” in the spring of 2020. Check out his socials and Patreon down below!
Swedish theatrical band, “Ghost”, released their latest single “Kiss the Go-Goat”. Coming hot off their trail with recently finishing up their tour with Metallica, Ghost is slated to start touring the USA. This time we are treated to the tour called “The Ultimate Tour Named Death”. Tour dates and the video for “Kiss The Go-Goat” are shown down below! Make sure to catch Ghost in a city near you!
13 Rabobank Theatre, Bakersfield, CA
14 Reno Events Center, Reno, NV
16 Theater of the Clouds at Moda Center, Portland, OR
17 Toyota Center, Kennewick, WA
19 WaMu Theatre, Seattle, WA
20 Pacific Coliseum, Vancouver, BC
21 So. Okanagan Events Centre, Penticton, BC
23 Roger Place, Edmonton, AB
24 The Corral, Calgary, AB
26 Spokane Arena, Spokane, WA
27 Taco Bell Arena, Boise, ID
28 Maverik Center, West Valley City, UT*
30 Budweiser Events Center at The Ranch, Loveland, CO
1 Broadmoor World Arena, Colorado Springs, CO
3 Denny Sanford Premier Center, Sioux Falls, SD
4 Scheels Arena, Fargo, ND
5 The Armory, Minneapolis, MN
7 Resch Center, Green Bay, WI
8 TaxSlayer Center, Moline, IL
10 Covelli Center, Youngstown, OH
11 Big Sandy Superstore Arena, Huntington, WV
12 Exit 111 Festival, Manchester, TN
14 DeltaPlex Arena, Grand Rapids, MI
15 Huntington Center, Toledo, OH
17 FirstOntario Centre, Hamilton, ON
18 Richcraft Tire Center, Ottawa, ON
19 Cross Insurance Arena, Portland, ME
21 DCU Center, Worcester, MA
22 The Oncenter, Syracuse, NY
24 GIANT Center, Hershey, PA
25 Cure Insurance Arena, Trenton, NJ
26 Cool Insuring Arena, Glens Falls, NY
* Twin Temple will support on this date
SUNN O))) – Let There Be Drone / One Residence, Two Concepts, Three Concerts
1/30/2020 / Life Metal
2/01/2019 / Life Metal
2/02/2020 / Shoshin (初心)
Ah Vegas. Full disclosure, this is only my second time here, gambling isn’t my thing and, generally, neither are manufactured experiences. There is, however, an allure, a temptation to revel in the tawdry displays of tourists on Fremont, convincing themselves they’re being entertained, convincing themselves that the shiny dress, the cheap suit, the almost fashionable, is real – even if it’s just for a moment. The exuberance can so easily feel manic and desperate – a high that takes a wrong turn and becomes dark, feverish, and somehow sad.
But there are moments. Moments when people come together to experience something they deeply love, that the bad trip is forced back behind joy, excitement, and connections with people who share a passion.
Ghost is a band that brings out that passion and excitement. The community that gathers at The Joint in The Hard Rock is primed for connections – connections with each other and with the band. Vegas is a notoriously difficult venue. Artists have an audience that might have picked up the tickets at random, and there for a myriad of reasons where the show isn’t the primary focus.
Ghost, though, brings fans to them; as easily across geography as emotionally during a show. Current front persona Cardinal Copia, deftly draws the crowd into his sermon – never stranding the audience in a lull, but carrying them through the changes in tempo with witty banter, and faith that, wherever he’s taking them, the journey will be rewarding.
Cardinal Copia’s persona bridges priest and lounge singer in a playful, joyous manner that, somehow remains unironic. And while he may lose a few of the less faithful during his earnestly delivered monologue on the cycles of depression and hardship to highs and loves that we all experience; more are with him. It might be partially this supportive, positive, fun philosophy that backs all Ghost does that engenders such love from their fans.
It is the passion from the fans that is partially responsible for the current rise in Ghost’s popularity. Passion, and a fun pop-rock accessibility that has been missing from the larger music scene since the eighties. A pop rock that is backed with skilled musicians; clever, articulate songwriting; and a colorful, engaging narrative live show.
“Are you with us?” is a mantra of sorts for Ghost, and for Ghost fans. A question that is always replied with an emphatic affirmative.
Review written by Forrest Kenworthy