Ghost Of The West


Tee Pee Records, 2013

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


I'm not one who spends hours combing the Internet reading various blogs. In fact, there are only two that I check on a somewhat consistent basis. When I saw the cover art of Spindrift's soundtrack Ghost Of The West, it bore such a resemblance to, one of the blogs I read, that my interest was immediately piqued. When I realized the photo was actually from said blog, it seemed bizarrely coincidental. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Though they've been around for over two decades, Spindrift has taken on many different sounds, lived in numerous cities and seen a revolving door of members; originator and driving force Kirkpatrick Thomas is the nucleus of the band. This chapter of the Spindrift story was born out of the their 2012 'Ghost Town Tour' through America's Western ghost towns, which had the band reworking some timeless Golden Era cowboy tunes while also making a film that this album soundtracks.

Though most of these songs were penned 50+ years ago, Spindrift brings them to life again with new vigor. From the fuzzy sounds and Spanish guitars on “The Matador & The Fuzz” to the haunting feel of the original “Ghosts Go West,” there are a lot of unique ideas explored in a spaghetti western, psyche-rock sort of way. Even more unusual are the ultra lo-fi "When I Was A Cowboy" and "The Ballad Of Paladin," which are done with a mariachi band. The band rarely takes the direct approach, opting for a more artistic and unconventional way to make music; however, “Mudhead” is the exception with its easily accessible riffs and melodic undertones.

Though it begins with the yelping, twisted cowboy anthem "Buffalo Dream," which draws similarities to Brent Amaker, we learn pretty quickly that Thomas has a wealth of influences running through his work, including anything between desert rock and punk, and, in the case of "Navajo Trail," some rockabilly. Amazingly, fans of artists as seemingly opposite as Lee Hazelwood or The Cramps will find something to enjoy here.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2014 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Tee Pee Records, and is used for informational purposes only.