Suss: Ghost Box (self-released, 2018)

February 3, 2018 at 10:51 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Suss: Ghost Box

While this album shares its name with a British label associated with hauntology, this group has a much different concept on their mind. They make ambient country, as if Apollo: Atmospheres & Soundtracks was made to score a Western instead of a film of moon missions. The music emphasizes the wide open spaces of the West, rather than the “wild wild” part, so there’s loopy steel guitars, lonesome whistling (on “Late Night Call”), and lots of cosmic dust. “Big Sky” is maybe the most densely layered track, with electric soloing as well as strumming and some banjos. “Rain” is much gloomier, with a resounding series of dark, slow twangs. “Laredo” is more rhythmic, with a drum machine ticking under the crisp, clear guitars and synths — not quite as rough and rugged as the actual West. “Gunfighter” uses some film samples, but they’re a bit clipped and distant, and the slide guitar and harmonica take center stage over the haunting pulsations keeping time. “Canyonlands (Return to Wichita)” is a calm drift into the sunset, and seems to be the most synth-heavy track on the album.

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