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Artist of the Month
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April 2016
Ghost King
"'Bones'
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Hailing from The Bronx and led by Spires' drummer Carter McNeil, Ghost King plays muddy fuzz rock brightened by unexpected chord changes, psychedelic overtones, and a '90s rock inspired lo-fi production that blends the fun attitude of Violent Femmes, the stellar songwriting of The Pixies and the slacking tendencies of Pavement. Early psych rock influences emerge here and there in their debut album 'Bones' (check out the rather Barretesque 'Bones pt. 1,' or the chorus explosion of 'When the Sky Turns blue' - streaming below), enriching the sonic palette in ways rarely accomplished, in a single record, without it sounding... all over the place. But beyond the familiar and beloved references to the past, what makes this album great is its consistently brilliant songwriting, and the band's habit of taking the listener in and out of unexpected places, like for example with the dissonant riffs of 'Skeleton Dance' 's intro, which slowly morphs into a perfectly consonant verse, or through the bizarre development of ''Til You Belong to Me' or 'Bones pt. 2.'  

 
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NYC band on the rise: Clear Plastic Masks headline the Knit on 05.25

NYC band on the rise: Clear Plastic Masks headline the Knit on 05.25

Since moving to NYC from L.A. in ‘99, the flurry of local bands I’ve fallen for has been dizzying.  But none in recent memory has gripped me quite like new garage soul outfit Clear Plastic Masks, fronted by Detroit-bred Andrew Katz (ex-New York Howl). Powerful sh*t emanates from this man who, at 6’6”, casts an imposing shadow, yet you’ll never meet a warmer guy.  The band’s sound dynamics are what’s most striking. One minute Katz’s everyman poet is casually whispering in your ear like an old friend telling you a joke and putting you at ease.  The next Matt Menold (guitars, keys) is pummeling you with ocean size Hendrix licks and Stax Hammond organ drones. But a deep soulfulness permeates every note, and the Cuban and Dominican roots of rhythm section Eddy DuQuesne (bass) and Charlie Garmendia (drums) ensure asses are kept shakin’ and the funk is kept stankin’. It adds up to a powerful elixir that could only be brewed in this great city of ours, and it’s undeniably rock n' roll. In the last month the Masks recorded their forthcoming debut LP with producer Andrija Tokic (Alabama Shakes; Jay Reatard) in Nashville, and filmed this video with director Joshua Shoemaker in Alabama. Catch them headlining the Knitting Factory on Friday 05.25 and be left reeling.  – Ryan Henriquez

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