Album review: Ghost Car – Truly Trash (OLI) – Today is a good day for today is Ghost Car debut album release day and, as those of you who have been paying attention will know, some of us around here are fast becoming Ghost Car Addicts. I love this band, I love their their energy, their attitude, their forward looking punk rock brightness, their songs (oh yes, they have songs, plenty of songs), their many layers of energy, their brilliant whit. There’s whole onion skin layers of drive an energy and attitude to peel back here, they’ve got ‘it’.
She’s got it, they’ve got it, I want it! I love this band! Punk pop energy, loads of drive, bag loads of bounce but but but, and this is the important bit, there is substance here, this isn’t just throwaway garage punk rock, these four girls have lots to say and a stylish way doing that saying. Ghost Car, “the London-based international punk quartet”, have released their debut album Truly Trash following their signing to One Little Independent Records. The riotous, quick-witted collection of eleven garage-rock adrenaline rushes is out today.
The worry was the question of how it would all stack up as one body of work? Would it all work as an album? As singles the releases have been brilliant, indeed thrilliant. Back in the days of going to Woolies or your local record shop during your lunch hour they would have been classic 7″ releases up there with the very best seven inchers, up there with those singles from The Ruts, The Sweet, X-Ray Spex, those classic sevens with brilliant b-sides, the ones’ we all treasure, Ghost Car make excellent singles, the glorious infection of Selfish Spoiled, the urgent riffs of Conch Pearl, but would it all stack up on an album? Would they have enough to hold us? Something more than those thrilliant three minute bursts of socially aware bubble gum punk pop they’ve been dishing out in single doses throughout the Summer? Of course it stacks up! of course this is a classic debut album, this is everything we need from a band at the arse end of a shitty 2022, this is flag waving goodness, this is a bag load of rallying calls, this is so damn good and yeah, I know that now and again I go over the top about a band or an album but hey, you know what, I couldn’t care less about what you think of my going way way over the top about things now and again, this is excellent, this is why we do this Organ thing.
Over the top we go, I’ll eat it again!, this is not a time for polite chin stroking or critical analysis, this is the joy of art, this is proper punk rock, this is defiantly good, sometimes gloriously sarcastic, sometimes wonderfully Riot Grrrl flavoured, this is damn exciting! Actually, even though they have lot of good things to to say, vitally, this is fun, lots and lots of fun, some of those riffs and lines, those frenzied bits of synth to drag the sound in a 60’s psych direction now and again, that and the glam rock and the Bikini Kills bits and the Ramones bits, they all fun.
Yes, the album does provide Ghost Car with a platform to “rage against political injustices, as their unified harmonies attack patriarchal inequality, homophobia, racism and toxic relationships”, yes Truly Trash is “a call to reclaim autonomy and to revolt against the powers that uphold an archaic nationalist system” and yes, of the eruptive ‘Basta’ singer/guitarist Maeve Henry tells us “It was written from the perspective of someone commenting on being a queer woman being happy with her sexuality. We’ve had a lot of men at our gigs in the past sexualising or infantilising us, so this is a massive f*ck you to them”. Singer/bassist Cece Corapi expands “It felt important to reiterate the fact that your sexuality doesn’t define the type of person you are. There is still a lot of biphobia around, even in certain queer scenes, and a perception that it’s not a valid sexual identity. It’s important to call this out”.
And then there’s Clown Town, that is the band at “their sarcastic best, oozing B52s and Delta 5 swagger with jaunty B-movie melodies, a comment on the circus of errors by the Conservative government, with particular focus on Boris Johnson, following Brexit. With band members hailing from England, Ireland, Italy and Spain, Ghost Car are keen advocators for freedom of movement, a belief only strengthened following the events in Ukraine. Cece explains that this “opened our eyes to the consequences of borders even more, when considering a country caught between two opposing powers (Russia and the EU/Nato) and the devastation this leads to. I think it’s important that we become more aware of these issues, but we need to make sure that we don’t stop there and always look at it from a more internationalist point of view. And to consider what that means for everyone.”
Seriously politically aware and at the same time f**k you fun, the very best of everything you might say. How good is that giant riff that opens Sex? How can you not smile your biggest knowing smile and sing along to a queercore anthem like Sushi Addict? There’s so much positive energy here, so much to go with, far far better than a meal deal, forget that electricity bill for a moment, plug into every glorious minute of this (not a filler in sight) Hey, look, let them do the shouting, let them feed you, let them in, go with it, you don’t need my tired old words, go listen to the Bandcamp then go get yourself a copy, just go go go, truly trashy, brilliant, thrilliant, a vital album, power to them, I love this band! (sw)
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