Ghost B.C., ‘If You Have Ghost’ EP – Review
Ghost B.C. are among 2013’s biggest buzz bands and with the well-received ‘Infestissumam’ already under their robes, they continue to give fans more with the Dave Grohl produced ‘If You Have Ghost’ EP, which includes four ecectic cover songs and a live version of the new hit ‘Secular Haze.’ The song selection might be unfamiliar to a lot of Ghost’s fans, but offers key insight to how the band developed their trademark sound.
The first song here is a cover of Roky Erikson’s ‘If You Have Ghosts,’ which may have been chosen equally for the title and the music. The band strips down the original twangy version and turn into a bit of a new wave sounding song, giving it a haunting edge that works within the realm of the band’s sound. ‘Crucified’ is given the same treatment, playing down the Eurodance sound of Army of Lovers’ biggest hit. Papa Emeritus II adopts a throaty voice during the verse before returning to his silky pipes on the chorus.
Ghost’s take on Swedish pop sensation ABBA’s hit ‘I’m a Marionette’ sticks closest to the original version of the four covers presented on this EP. The keyboards take a darker overtone with the rhythmic guitars as Papa’s voice brings the familiar positive twist that gives the band’s sound major contrast.
The only cover that disappoints here is the Depeche Mode classic ‘Waiting for the Night’ off their classic ‘Violator’ album. While Papa’s voice is a warm rival to David Gahan’s work, the band put a happy spin on what is a down-tempo song and it just doesn’t work. If they had chosen a Depeche Mode song that had a better dark to positive contrast like ‘Blasphemous Rumors,’ they would have undoubtedly knocked it out of the park.
The live version of ‘Secular Haze’ perfectly showcases how the band relays their music on stage. Played just a little faster, like anything live, this song is given a whole new kind of energy as the crowd revels in the blasphemy. The guitars are loud and chunky, giving the song a bit more depth than on the studio version.
Overall, ‘If You Have Ghost’ is an entertaining listen, especially after you’ve familiarized yourself with the original songs. Cover songs are always a mixed bag of hit or miss, with no middle ground. The same goes for Ghost’s renditions of four songs here, but they’ve done a pretty solid job of making these songs their own while paying tribute to their influences.