Goth-derived canons are typically exercises in marrying wildly contradictory impulses and TV Ghost's is no exception. Their Cold Fish album revels in loving contemplation of the venerable and antique, as well as the adamantly difficult and iconoclastic.
Throughout, Cold Fish is peppered by twangy surf-rock and rockabilly guitar licks, bathed in conscientiously overdone reverb: “swampy,” as they say. Meanwhile, the overall song structures and most of the bedrock rhythm guitar riffery is artfully askew and dissonant. I'd heard this outfit described as “No Wave” but to my ears it sounds like discord as deliberately contrived by cunning and able players, not the output of inspired amateurs making the only noise they're technically capable of.
Their songs alternate between driving rockers and mid tempo lurchers. The former careen along at breakneck speed, the overabundance of raw energy and high emotion, barely contained within the conventions of song per se. The latter flop and slop around like drunken shrimpers in an oil-slicked bayou, swatting at spider-mite-filled Spanish moss now and again.
This oeuvre you could argue all became orthodoxy over the years since the Cramps first hinted at it and the Birthday Party then fleshed out the concept but that said, this is amazingly good and potent all on its. [In The Red]
- Howard W.
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