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Friday, 4 January 2013

The Holy Ghosts - Devil on your side.

Those who read the blog will be aware that I am an unashamed fan of The Holy Ghosts
The live sets that I've seen have shown them to be an act that really do possess that rare thing that is often referred to as star quality, and it's also very obvious that they have already outgrown the bars, clubs, and support slots that they have been paying their dues playing.
However for one reason or another I managed to miss mentioning anything about their debut ep that has now had a semi reissue through bandcamp.
So with no good reason not to rectify my oversight here we go with the better late than never review.
So what have we got?
Country rock in a nutshell, but a swaggering bourbon swigging and cocky as fuck version of it that should appeal to both fans of moddish R&B, and those who like a bit of a nod is as good as a wink sleaze with their rock and roll.
With Ol' Snake Hips you have the a sound that the Gallagher brothers would have maybe come up with if they had spent a month in Muscle Shoals and just soaked all the atmosphere up.
Then again it's possible that even then they would have fallen short of really capturing the vibe.
Thankfully The Holy Ghosts didn't, and have nailed it without leaving Edinburgh.
The track that gave it's name to the title of the ep 'Devil on your side' possesses all the charm of a Steve Earle track but with the added bonus of some youthful exuberance that elevates it far beyond being just a homage to the celtic folk country that he does so well.
With the ep closing on 'staring down the barrel' the band manage to end the short introduction to them without putting a foot wrong.
It could easily be a Gram Parsons influenced Stones song, although it would be fair to say that Jacky Sandison's vocals lend themselves to the country twang far better than Micks ever did.
Let the arguments commence once the short intake of breath has been taken after contemplating that.
Better than The Stones during their Exile period?
Well no, but simply put the vocals on this specific track fits better to the material than Jaggers every did as he really brought himself to the country sound party rather than embracing it as we can hear on this.
There's not many bands hit the ground running with a debut ep as good as this, but I'm confident that their debut album will maintain the momentum and off the back of it we shall be hearing a great deal about these guys.

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