By Bruce Wilson
Reviewer & Playlister ForTheLoveOfBands
Once, years ago, after my band played a weekend festival somewhere in a prairie field I thought it would be a brilliant idea to ingest chocolate covered magic mushrooms while drinking a tremendous amount of alcohol. An hour or so after eating the confectionary treats I stood in the middle of that giant muddy field certain that God existed. It wasn’t long before I had an overpowering realization that I might in fact “be God”.
The stars fell at my feet and coated the ground like millions of tiny prisms shining their light directly into my heart. I floated through crowds of rabbits the size of people while the band on the stage transformed into characters from a Fellini film and I directed their every move. For several hours I was all powerful and untouchable. I controlled the seasons and the tides. In that sea of rabbit people I met a girl whose eyes shone with the light of precious gems and together we shared the secrets of infinity.
I woke up in the morning with my jeans caked in mud snuggled up to an empty bottle of Bushmills with most of its contents emptied onto my t-shirt. The liquor’s sticky sweetness stuck the fabric to my sweaty sunburned skin. The girl with the sapphire eyes I’d spent hours talking to had disappeared. All traces of my godlike experience had evaporated in the unbearable morning heat. The glory of god burned away by the unforgiving light of day.
I haven’t thought about that night in years but watching the new Ghost of Men’s 360-degree video for their song “Little Death” brought that experience back with vivid clarity. I was instructed to watch the video while sitting on a swivel chair to have a full visual of the 360-degree experience. Since I don’t own a swivel chair I chose to use a pillow on the floor and, though perhaps not optimum, it provided the necessary effect.
At the center of the video are Peter Clegg and Adam Merchant the two members of Ghosts of Men who embody this English guitar and drums power duo. Around them swirls a carnival of activity. Dinosaurs, boxers, acrobats and multitude of other characters crowd the forested pastiche. This video lent itself to multiple viewings as I tried to follow the multitude of free following vignettes. As the video progresses it dissolves into something that resembles a psychedelic satanic ritual. “Little Death” was filmed by production house The Cleveland Agency and originally premiered a month ago at an event that featured a virtual reality booth for complete immersion into the experience. It will be fascinating to see how this innovative technology progresses.
“Little Death” is also a solid piece of rock’n’roll. It comes in with a guitar riff reminiscent of Fugazi circa 13 Songs and from there it tears into the battering power chords of a Kyuss era Josh Homme chorus. I’ve always loved two-member bands and Ghosts Of Men do it well as they claw out the chunky savagery of a Gibson SG over a tight syncopated groove. The song provides space where it’s needed in order to emphasize its primal purpose which is to get people to move. Together with the visuals, it creates for a hallucinatory experience that manages to evade the inevitable hangover.
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