Album review: Team Ghost – Rituals

Team Ghost - Rituals

Team Ghost - Rituals - Credit: Archant

Electronica whizz looks in darker corners for inspiration. Finds so much he doesn’t know what to do with it.

Described as the ‘gothic project’ of Nicolas Fromageau, co-founder of electro bigwigs M83 (although he left nine years ago) Team Ghost are a French six-piece whose needle is all over the dial.

Their debut veers from harsh, moody electro to smoothly-whipped synth whimsy and abrasive and angular rock without so much as a second glance.

But they probably should have paid more attention when slamming these buns in the oven, as the results often border on being half-baked.

Scudding through the LP then, Dead Film Star balances synth, guitar, melody and vapid celebrity obsession so effectively it could have been penned by The Killers turned flesh-crazed zombies – and is as grisly as it sounds.

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Somebody’s Watching makes a stab at sounding sinister and sexual, with more success on the former, while the predatory title track is more limping than loping.

The compelling beats of Things Are Sometimes Tragic is anything but, while All We Left Behind’s dreamscape vocals and buttery electro explodes halfway through with battering-ram drums and scything guitar, but ends up fizzling out with nowhere to go.

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Fireworks channels the gothic adrenaline more effectively towards a tune, before the fey electro bounce of Montreuil cuts the momentum down mid-stride.

Filtered vocals and pedestrian tempo fuels the grandiose delusions of Pleasure That Hurts – but the throbbing, angular, coruscating synth-and-guitar of Curtains is a welcome, invigorating blast.

So on balance, despite lurking flashes of promise, this is a mixed bag of ideas that generally don’t come off.

2 stars

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