Ghosts Wear Clothes – Threads – 78%

Threads cover art
Ghosts Wear Clothes is a 3 piece electronic inspired post-rock band from Nottingham, UK who use words like “weird” and “haunting” to describe themselves. Released in April, Threads is the band’s debut and clocks in at 7 tracks spanning 53 minutes.

“Prelude” starts off the album, setting the stage with a sea of drone static ambiance. “Every Cloud” follows up with slow and chill opening featuring thick and deep bass, minimalist piano and slow-paced drums. As the track continues the intensity increases as layers continually stack upon each other and drums pick up their pace. There are times when I wished the static would subside just a little to allow the rest of the layers to shine brightly. The keys are excellent in this track but only get their moment at the end. On the technical side, there are a few issues unfortunately with this track, as there were some noticeable clipping issues/pops in the track.

“Stay Indoors and Watch Buildings Burn” paints a stark picture with its eerie piano opening filling a large soundstage. Synths sound fantastic though they feel very front sounding in the mix in comparison to the keys and drums for the first half of the track. Guitars give the track a deep feel as cymbals violently crash. From here the album takes a twist with “L’Insurrenction Qui Vient” which opens with persistent high-hat leading the way as the rest of the track takes form around it. Synthesizers again sound gorgeous and this track as a whole feels like a true post-rock track.

The album goes on to make a transition to “Darkness Creeps in Quick These Days” which is an appropriate name as the strange opening sounds very outer space like, sounding like something I’d expect to hear as the soundtrack to the formation of the universe. Piano attempts to breathe some life into the track but the power struggle between it and the static ambiance ends with the piano being dragged down into the depths of the mix. This track is extremely loud, relentlessly dark and at nearly 8 minutes will probably be the point where fans of straightforward post-rock fans will decide whether or not this album is for them.

“Zealous” is up next, clocking in at nearly 14 minutes. This track features some of the band’s best work with experimental and progressive keyboards, aggressive drumming and strong layers of guitar that synergize well with the ambient feel. Even the ambient passages are well designed and excellently mixed. This track has a little bit of something for everyone as it plays the role of a chameleon, switching from post-rock to ambiance and then to downtempo electronic over the course of its duration. The album ends with “You Set Yourself on Fire,” which opens with elegant piano work before breakneck drums rapidly increase the tempo. As crazy as it sounds, even with the all-over-the-place drums, this is perhaps the most relaxing track on the album. But hey, given how insanely experimental and unique this album is, I guess that doesn’t really seem so crazy after all.

Ghosts Wear Clothes is a unique project that takes three very different genres; post-rock, downtempo electronic and drone, and tries to blend them into one. The end result is an album that is both loud yet relaxing and intense but reserved. While the experimentation works well for the most part, some areas of the album miss the mark and are either too dull or too out there to really enjoy. Fans of drone and downtempo electronic should find their way to this album and for the most part should enjoy it. More straight forward post-rock fans might be turned away by the drone elements. With Threads, Ghosts Wear Clothes should have no trouble finding their place within these respective genres. 9-13-12

Available for about $8 on bandcamp: http://ghosts-wear-clothes.bandcamp.com/