Crashing headlong into the mess that is 2020 Australian racket warriors “A Swayze and The Ghosts” fulfill Neil Young’s long standing prophecy with an energy laden debut that thankfully confirms that “Rock and roll can never die” and publish and be damned with a 12 track post punk guitar driven workout that rattles along at a breakneck pace. Hoorah for that. Brilliantly simple, punchy and urgent songs barely pause for air in this most accomplished long player tackling a raft of issues that shine a spotlight on our vacuous and superficial contemporary way of life. Yes there is a goodly dose of anger and dismay projected through the songs on “Paid Salvation” further underlying its importance.

What immediately impresses though is how coherent an ensemble these boys are. Andrew Swayze is our convincing front man and principle song smith and enjoys the solid backing of The Ghosts much like Iggy was blessed with his Stooges or Nick Cave profited from his Bad Seeds. The Ghosts are very much a “back to basics” three piece who competently drive their guitars to within an inch of their lives without resorting to trickery or fancy production values preferring to rely instead on a, tight as you like, “punk ethic”. The drums in particular catch the ear with a syncopated style that wrings the most out of a three piece kit and emphasises, with a machine gun like metronome, the pace of the tunes on “Paid Salvation”.

Widely lauded in the music press A Swayze and The Ghosts have no doubt felt properly shafted by their inability to tour as they had planned this year in support of the release of “Paid Salvation” and with that in mind I hope that sales will be strong to see them through these difficult times. What I can say is that they fully deserve their positive reviews and if sniffing out relevant debuts is your thing then you’re definitely in the right place.

Lets be clear. These are miserably restrictive times for the music biz but A Swayze must take solace from the words of the late great Roky Erickson who declared that “If you have ghosts then you have everything”. All these boys have to do is hang in there and seize the day when live work can resume (which it surely will ‘cos senior prophet Neil Young says so), unleash their pent up punk rock upon the masses and fulfil their promise. In the meantime they can no worse than to lay the foundations for what in my book should ultimately be a widely anticipated follow up. A great debut which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed listening to.

Track Listing

1. It’s Not Alright
2. Suddenly
3. Nothing Left To Do
4. Connect To Consume
5. Marigold
6. Paid Salvation
7. Mess Of Me
8. Rich
9. News
10. Beaches
11. Cancer
12. Evil Eyes

Von’s picks; “Suddenly” and “Rich”, recalling the “Youth and Young Manhood” Kings of Leon era and “Mess of Me” with its uncanny resemblance to Jonathan Richman and The Modern Lovers.

Release date; 18th September 2020 on Ivy League records.

Album review by Von Goloka




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