Ghost Medicine — Discontinuance
(Uranium Club UC00921, 2016, CD)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2016-09-27
Uranium Club is a brand new label for releasing rock, progressive, and electronica. Their first release is Ghost Medicine’s debut album Discontinuance. Ghost Medicine is essentially the solo work of Atlantan guitarist Jared Leach, and he augments his music with contributions by Porcupine Tree’s Colin Edwin on bass, Scott Prian on drums, and Sarah Hoefer on vocals. The Porcupine Tree similarities continue with the album artwork, some of the music, and Jared even bears a striking resemblance to Steve Wilson. What is not included in the promo material is how Jared connected with Colin across the pond. I am sure that would be an interesting story. Jared is quite an accomplished guitarist and expert in alternative tunings. At times his playing reminds me of Alain Markusfeld and Jared’s finger picking demonstrates a Doc Watson influence. Of course with Colin Edwin featured prominently on bass, many of the seven songs venture into Porcupine Tree territory. What does not work for me are many of the vocal melodies. These melody lines sound a bit contrived and strained, trying too hard to be artsy. Ghost Medicine is not alone in this. Many of the neo-prog bands are doing this as well. I think that they are using minor key vocal lines that try to complement the instrumentation, but these melodies do not connect with the listener. So much so that you do not even pay attention to the lyrics. But don’t get me wrong, both Jared’s and Sarah’s voices are good, but the notes they are singing just do not engage the listener. In my opinion, if Jared had recorded a purely instrumental album instead the results would have been much better. Many of the songs start out in one direction, take an abrupt turn, and then circle back. He also likes to combine his acoustic guitar and electric guitar lines, making these songs challenging to play live. In summary, Discontinuance is a great debut album once you get beyond the vocal melodies.
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more