Ghost & Goblin “Blood Beach” – Great in an album, like a beached whale as a single.

Heard in context of the rest of the album “Superhorrorcastleland”, the single ‘Blood Beach’ by the American duo Ghost & Goblin is an inventive and musically stimulating song for people that enjoy fun, electronic bands like Gorillaz. HOWEVER, as a standalone single and as a representative of the album, it is a weak choice and will leave you wishing they had done more.

This a case of a song doing too little too late. On first listen, I appreciated the idea – it sounds like an 8 bit circus with modern vocals similar to male Sleighbells over the top – but 1minute 30 seconds in, you just want SOMETHING to happen. And it does, but at 1 min 45 seconds, if I wasn’t looking to review something, my attention would have been lost about 20seconds too early. This is a slow burner of a song, which although in the context of an album isn’t bad at all, as an attention grabbing single; it fails. The song is worth listening to through to the end, but to me, it just feels like they’re shooting themselves in the foot if this is their weapon of choice.

Another thing that grabbed me is the mix. Now I love Gorillaz – they were my first favourite band – but I wouldn’t call myself a connoisseur of lo-fi electronica so I may be missing the point here, but to my ears, there is simply NO BASS to the song. Even with my Vic Firth drumming headphones that normally amplify the bass of any song, I could feel my ears stretching to hear something low and beefy. And this is also the case for the rest of the album; except for the odd sub drop which does bring some relief to my poor ears. As I said earlier however, I MAY be missing the point here, or maybe it sounds different to how they hear it – but it was extremely frustrating to be searching for a certain frequency. It sounded thinner that it should be.

All of this being said though, the album as a whole is pretty damn impressive. Although ‘Blood Beach’ sounds like it found an idea and stuck to it for the length of a full song, most of their other tracks don’t do this and progress perfectly. Plinky plonky synths that sound like those found in a lot of recent Gorillaz songs are a breath of fresh air to my ears that are saturated in the multi tonal, monstrous sounds of modern DnB/Dubstep. The album is fun, and you’re unlikely to hear something that resembles it for a good long while – I know I haven’t.  I recommend listening to ‘Skeletons in the Closet’ and ‘Look at the Clouds’ from the album.

I was disappointed that ‘Blood Beach’ was the first song I heard. I was *this* close to closing the tab and never coming back to it, but thanks to the idea (but not the execution) I persevered and found something worth reviewing.

On a final note: guys, PLEASE add some more bass to your next songs!

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