Holiday Ghosts – West Bay Playroom
The sprightly, jukebox days of rock'n'roll are given a cheeky, 21st century makeover on Holiday Ghosts’ sophomore album West Bay Playroom
Holiday Ghosts' sophomore full-length West Bay Playroom is firmly rooted in the sprightly days of jukebox rock'n'roll, although frequently flirts with a slew of genres over its replayable lifespan. The Falmouth foursome’s multitude of influences are varied but they manage to coalesce on account of the band’s merry bearing and rollicking vigour, which is akin to a bouncing karaoke ball let loose.
After their base of studio operations shut up shop shortly after the release of their eponymous debut album, the troupe were forced to seek alternative pastures, and the greenest going was an old playroom in chief ghost, guitarist and singer Sam Stacpoole’s childhood home. The home-recording vibe isn’t as much heard but felt. A spontaneity and immediacy is present with their up-tempo, DIY malarky. It instils a notion that the 14 ditties on offer were pressed fresh just moments prior to pushing play.
Stacpoole’s abode was intrinsic to the album’s creation as it allowed the quartet to flex without a studio stranglehold. As a result, their scope is broad, spanning from the blues of B.S. Porsche to the spaghetti western of Booksmart, and the Spongebob-luau of Chumps. Vocal duties are passed around like a hot potato between drummer Katja Rackin’s snappy confessions and Stacpoole’s punky yelps, which keeps the joviality and pace ticking.
The kaleidoscopic nature of the album charms frequently, but too swift are the tracks over and the shifting chromatics reset. As tight and playful a handle as they have on their influences, the revelation of their true and focused selves is perhaps still an album away.
Listen to: Kat’s Lament, B.S. Porsche, The Dodger