DOESN'T MATTER HOW YOU GET THERE - The Ghostmen (Headmiles)
This is a tidy six-tracker of melodic punk rock from members of sporadically reformed Sydney '80s band The Kelpies, with an additional guest. The EP was given away at an (almost) Kelpies reunion in Sydney in August '07 and for a short-term, quickie project it's pretty damn good.
The Ghostmen are vocalist Jim Atkins, drummer Ashley Thomson, guitarist Brian Connolly and bassist Ken Archbold (a recent Kelpies recruit) with Hell Crab City/Panadolls/New Christs axeman Big Al Creed adding his considerable talents. That's a nice all-round pedigree and rest assured that the beast's not wearing a muzzle.
Especially on on the opener, "Elevate Me", where Big Al absolutely goes nuts on guitar. The tune's a moving declaration of intent, when you consider Atkins has subsequently moved into a hospice after years of battling cancer. Words about being uplifted to Valhalla and the like, and the vocal is a great one.
"Demolition Girl" is a Saints cover (hopefully you guessed) that does the original justice. It's as explosive as a pubescent lad who's been accidentally booked into a girl guide jamboree on a desert island and lasts about as long. "Dirty Side of Town" has a nasty streak and is arguably one of the lesser songs. "Pain Remover" sounds a little fatalistic (the EP derives its title from one of its lyrics) and more than a little menacing as it pegs back the pace.
"Baby's Gone Away" finds Big Al in fine fettle again with some withering lead-playing, while "Just An Addict" (not many Kelpies weren't) shares the stage with "Elevate Me" as the high point of the disc. "Addict" sounds the most like a Kelpies song for mine.
Hopefully, plans to issue this as a vinyl disc will come to something. If not, you might drop Ashley Thomson a line to see if he has any left.– The Barman
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