The Midnight Ghost Train – Cypress Ave.
Release Date: 28th July 2017
Label: Napalm Records
FFO: QOTSA, CKY, Texas Hippie Coalition
The Midnight Ghost Train have one of those names that on first hearing it makes you think ‘What the hell kinda name is that?’, then after a few more times it kind of grows on you. It’s a bit strange, but mostly it’s a thought evoking name. What the band don’t leave to your imagination is what they’re trying to do as musicians. The Kansas trio are just about as heavy as you can get without pounding a bass drum as fast as you can.
Cypress Ave. is the 6th release to the band’s name, including an EP and a live album, and is pure evolution from what’s gone before. So, what’s on show on Cypress Ave.? ‘Tonight’ kicks things off slowly initially a slow burner to kick is off. What is immediately impressive is just how immersive these guys are for a trio. It isn’t just loud to cover up a lack of talent though, the following track backs this up as ‘Red Eyed Junkie Queen’ is a huge track with some huge riffs. The vocals really emphasise those riffs, sounding like a cross between CKY’s CiG and Lemmy. As far as singles go, this track should be on a lot more people’s radar. ‘Glenn’s Promise’ follows and has a very similar feeling to the opener with a more psychedelic edge to it. This is true sunny afternoon festival music.
The most interesting part of this album is how varied it is. Break My Love is driven by a drum beat and the vocals. It’s a cleverly written, provoking track that is out of most listeners comfort zone in the best possible way. The variation doesn’t stop there with ‘The Boogie Down’ featuring Muslim rapper Sonny Cheeba of Camp Lo fame. The track has feel good written all over it. It’s jazzy and progressive and has the feeling it could be the theme to a new Hustle series.
Cypress Ave. is a truly interesting album and can at times be a challenging listen for those narrow minded listening tastes. It doesn’t break down barriers as much as it leans on them to move them aside slightly. These guys should be announcing a European tour to support this album soon, I’m just hoping the UK doesn’t get the token London date as it often does these days.