BPREVIEW: The Hungry Ghosts – ‘Amerika/Lazaro’ single launch @ Centrala 22.07.17

Words by Ed King / Pic by Rob Hadley (Indie Images)

On Saturday 22nd July, The Hungry Ghosts will be celebrating the upcoming release of their ‘Amerika/Lazaro’ double a-side with a single showcase gig at Centrala (Minerva Works). Support comes from You Dirty Blue, Charlie Boyer (The Voyers), Average Sex, The Lizards.

Doors open at 7pm with tickets prices at £6.50 + booking fee. For direct gig info, including venue details and online ticket sales, click here.

Set for release on 4th August through Setting Son Records, ‘Amerika/Lazaro’ is the first release for The Hungry Ghosts with their new line up. Adding two new bodies and three new faces, the Redditch born purveyors of slaughterhouse blues are enjoying (we hope) a promising evolution this year – with height, grace, automaton time keeping and the occasional Manchester moshpit brawl now packed into The Mothership (The Hungry Ghosts’ trusty touring steed). Don’t mess with Emily Doyle I think is the message here.

So, any good..? The last time Birmingham Review saw The Hungry Ghosts was at Counteract’s 7th birthday in April, where the now five piece were supporting The Mother’s Earth Experiment and the world’s worst kept secret. And there was certainly something going on. BPREVIEW: The Hungry Ghosts - ‘Amerika/Lazaro’ single launch @ Centrala 22.07.17The new material – still spearheaded by Billy Ollis and Joe Joseph – is a continuation of this curve; fresh yet confidently identifiable, the two snippets we’ve been privy to so far are promising to say the least.

‘Amerika’ opens with swagger, low steel twangs and a guitar riff so addictive it would out twitch a crack baby, before Joe Joseph’s serrated drawl comes to drag us a little further through the grit. Think ‘Super King King’ after the longest sex of its life. Smeared with all the imagery, prophecy and the subtle flavour of gold rush fever you’d expect from a Hungry Ghosts track titled ‘Amerika’, this is a little lighter than their usual brand of twisted metal yet still immediately identifiable. Blood Red Songs is an awesome EP but this is the balance we’ve been waiting two years to hear.

Following the narrative is ‘Lazaro’, a more garage rock affair that introduces the ‘naked as a stranger’ protagonist who will be our resurrected guide through this double a-side. Punched out from the off, this side of the single is more raw and raucous – a hark back to the ‘Hares on the Mountain’ that hooked our cheeks in the first place. Awesome. Again. Double A.

And here’s a sneaky peak into the story of ‘Amerika’ and the dark tendrils that pulled it out from the collective subconscious. Or Joe, for short. The rest you’ll get to figure out on repeat from 4th August.

‘Amerika’ – The Hungry Ghosts

The Hungry Ghosts are launching their ‘Amerika/Lazaro’ double a-side at Centrala (Minerva Works) on Saturday 22nd July, with support from You Dirty Blue, Charlie Boyer, Average Sex, The Lizards. For direct event info, including venue details and online ticket sales, click here.

For more on The Hungry Ghosts, visit www.thehungryghosts.co.uk

For more from Setting Son Records, visit www.facebook.com/settingsonrecords


For more on You Dirty Blue, visit www.facebook.com/youdirtyblue

For more on Charlie Boyer/The Voyers, visit www.soundcloud.com/TheVoyeurs

For more on Average Sex, visit www.facebook.com/averagesex

For more on The Lizards, visit www.soundcloud.com/allyourfriendsarelizards


For more from Centrala, visit www.centrala-space.org.uk

RELEASE: Blood Red Songs EP – The Hungry Ghosts

Blood Red Songs EP - The Hungry Ghosts*The Hungry Ghosts play The Sunflower Lounge on Weds 6th July, supported by The Terror Watts – as presented by Sonic Gun. For direct info & tickets, click here.*

Words by Ed King / Live pic by Rob Hadley, artwork courtesy of The Hungry Ghosts 

Some things you don’t forget. The birthday of a loved one, your first broken bone. That moment in childhood when you viciously grew up. The words to ‘American Pie’. Neat bourbon. Then there are surprises.

Today. Monday 4th July. Independence Day. The Hungry Ghosts have released their debut EP, Blood Red Songs – available through Setting Son Records. Four tracks of twisted blues and ‘swamp music’ from the Redditch based four piece. This is not a memory or a surprise. This is a fact. And this is a review – a series of words that explain to you, the reader/listener, my opinion.

I’ll save us all some time. Ferocious. Superb. Dark. Ball grabbing. One track too short.

But backtrack a little…

The first time I saw The Hungry Ghosts was both a memory and a surprise, having been invited to see them play one of their ubiquitous support slots – this time at The Sunflower Lounge. I arrived alone, squeezed myself onto the stairs and watched, loaded with dark rum and tired anticipation.

But it didn’t take long. After about a minute you knew, I knew, the room knew; we were watching something significant. There are bands and there are rock bands. The Hungry Ghosts were, from the first moment I saw them, unabashed and raw. A little messy, a little honest, and unlike any other contemporary I could cite on the circuit. Such a surprising memory, in fact, that I’ve been a little obsessed ever since.The Hungry Ghosts @ The Oobleck 06.12.15 / By Rob Hadley (Indie Images)

Since then Birmingham Review has followed The Hungry Ghosts, on the record on off – interviewing, publishing, interviewing, not publishing – and waiting for the day we could cover them as a headline act. That day is Wednesday. And that gig is back at The Sunflower Lounge. Click here for details.

But the groundwork that has been put in place, both the on stage and studio foundations, shines through in Blood Red Songs; fours tracks of undiluted, gritty, psychedelic blues rock – screamed out like the end of your breath.

From the opening dark twisted metal riff of ‘Father Snake Moan’ you know where you are – lying on the back seats of a reckless Firebird, a bottle to your lips, Joe Joseph’s contorted vocals making you run to or from something that may well destroy you.

Then the jagged strut of ‘Super King King’ comes through and you’re back up, the wind pushing your face around. This is the easiest song to hold; three minutes of stripped back mescaline blues, Jodie Lawrence blending into a vocal lead – before a rising deep breath welcomes a maelstrom finale I haven’t heard since The Smashing Pumpkins’ ‘Starla’. Produced to perfection with bravery on every corner.

The Hungry Ghosts @ The Sunflower Lounge - 6th July 2016‘Death Rattle Blues’ follows with a Velvet Underground punch; backwashed steel drum echoes, raw vocals, droning guitar drawls – stalking the room like John Travolta with a shotgun. Before the comedown of ‘Silver Horses’, an opiate lullaby, closes this rude awakening a little too early.

Overall Blood Red Songs is ferocious; a superb debut EP, one that introduces the dark severity of this band in a playful ball grabbing grip. My only complaint, that it’s arguably one track too short.

But The Hungry Ghosts have risen to something else with this recording – it’s brave, accomplished, and it wants to live in your head. A calling card; one I can see confidently weaving itself through the empty cider bottles and fetal positions of a festival afternoon. They’ve worked hard too, fine tuning an anarchy that’s much more graft than surprise. And if Blood Red Songs doesn’t create a further calendar of memories, then there is something simply flawed with the world.

*The Hungry Ghosts play The Sunflower Lounge on Weds 6th July, supported by The Terror Watts – as presented by Sonic Gun. For direct info & tickets, click here.*


For more on The Hungry Ghosts, www.thehungryghosts.co.uk

For more from The Sunflower Lounge, visit www.thesunflowerlounge.com

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