Introducing: GHXST

by DavidBeech
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on 30 October 2014 in Features

Punishing isn't an adjective I often find myself using to describe music that I like. Often it's used in tandem with words like painful, excruciating, and “pass me an icepick, I never want to hear again”. With 'Galaxia' however, the forthcoming single from Brooklyn trio GHXST, that just simply isn't the case. It is punishing, but in a brilliant way. From the opening distorted chord, 'Galaxia' hits you in the face, the gut, the small of your back, blow after blow; the sonic evisceration of its uncompromising caustic wall of guitar an unrelenting force that provides the perfect psychedelic backdrop for the haunting, seductive vocal drawl.

If like me, 'Galaxia' was your first impression of GHXST then the blues half of their self-styled “doom blues” would make little sense. “That's the sound of the end of the world,” you would probably shout, as you rounded up loved ones and headed for the nearest church. And you would be right, it is a cataclysmically heavy track. Dig deeper in to the band's repertoire however, and you'll find sleazy, stoned blues rock with a vicious edge. It's one drink away from kissing you; two away from hitting you over the head with a barstool and stealing both your wallet and your girlfriend.

Earlier track 'Shallow' for instance lacks the weight of 'Galaxia', but in it's place is sludgy bluesy guitar lines, this time very much distinguishable, from one another, whilst more recent track 'Dead Town' ups both the sludge and the weight whilst reigning them in at the same time, suggesting a spacial awareness in the band's songcraft that belies the pulverising power of the guitar/bass combo.

With their forthcoming EP Nowhere due out in December, it will be interesting to see whether the band have managed to retain the scuzzy blues aesthetic favoured in their earlier material, or whether that has been blown away in favour of skin-stripping soundtracks to an acid trip.

GHXST will be back in the UK for a few London shows at the end of October:

30th October - The Garage (for Artrocker's 10th Birthday) w/ Toy

31st October - The Barfly (for Jubilee's Halloween special)

1st November - Nightmare On Camden High Street


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