Watercolour Ghosts - Watercolour Ghosts

by James Weiskittel Rating:5 Release Date:2015-11-30
Watercolour Ghosts (​a ​five-piece alterna-prog outfit from Perth, Australia) have recently self-released (via Bandcamp) their self-titled debut EP, Watercolour Ghosts, a stoically frenetic affair that immediately recalls (and perhaps a bit too easily in some cases) some of the best moments of 90s alternative (think Quicksand meets At the Drive-in).
 
Typically, a self-titled release is thought to 'sum it all up', essentially making the statement "This is us!".  And while the moments of direct recognition ("Hey, this reminds me of ​'insert band here'''​) are few and far between, Watercolour Ghosts still feels a tad derivative, with the album's best moments reminding you of musical highlights from days gone by.
 
The album begins strongly​ with the biting "Like Animals", ​showcasing a stutter-step foundation of drums and frenzied bursts of guitars that instantly recalls post-punk legends Refused, albeit with a less aggressive vocal approach that owes more to the ambiguous croon of Maynard James Keenan as much as anyone else.
 
Unfortunately, the album quickly delves into the safer waters of mid-temp-ism with songs like "Breathe", "Collapse", and "Solipsism" all having a moment or two, but rarely distinguishing themselves from the pack.  While it is a sad and tired cliche to state that 'it all kinda sounds the same,' sometimes it just does.
 
The album closes strongly, however, with an acoustic reprise of the opener 'Like Animals" (the song is so different in terms of mood and vibe that it I was honestly surprised when I realized I was actually listening to a reprise of the opening track), a clever enough move considering the album is​ at least​ book-ended ​by the strongest material.
 
Watercolour Ghosts is not a classic debut, but rather, it is the sound of a band trying to refine themselves and find their place.  And while I may not find myself going back to this release for repeated listens, I will be sure to check out their next.  And at the end of the day, sometimes that is a win in and of itself.

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