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The Ghost And The Machine – Red Rain Tires Review

Post blues soundscapes for the soul.

Released by: Noise Appeal Records
Release Date: 28 September 2018
Genre: Blues , Post Blues

Line Up:

Andi Lechner – Resonator guitar, vocals
Heidi Fial – Double bass, vocals
Matthias Macht – Drums


1. Falling
2. Dirty Mind
3. Blue Day / Yellow City
4. Caroline
5. Passengers & Slaves
6. Complex Animal
7. Scars
8. Butterflies & Dust
9. Wrecks Of Innocence

Following their self-titled debut album in 2016, Red Rain Tires is the latest release from Austrian band The Ghost and the Machine. A unique combination of a stripped back sound which features resonator guitar, double bass, and drums, the band creates post blues soundscapes for the soul. Describing the album, the band suggested, “On Red Rain Tires we created floating structures within the songs to dive into,” adding, “It’s full of weird but yet precise sonic landscapes and still in constant touch with the rough spirit of long-forgotten prison songs. We’re really looking forward to share this piece of intimate but untamed music with you – Love it, hate it, buy it, spread it – in either case enjoy it!”

Opening the album is “Falling”, which features an incredible low register double-bass line provided by Fial. Once Macht’s shuffling drum beat and Lechner’s haunting resonator guitar and dream-like vocals join in, it sets a dark tone which cuts through the sonorous melody of the song. “Dirty Mind” sets an altogether different mood, with pop-rock sensibilities distilled through the aperture of a classic blues beat. Fail adds, “While dreaming the weirdest pictures appear as ordinary things, magic is taken for granted, time doesn’t exist.” The video for the song also forms the debut of Heidi Fial’s talents as a cinematographer. Expanding on this idea in the video Fial added, “There is only truth and insanity, and the carousel of figures and props in “Dirty Mind” revolves around them and does not demand any agreement.”

“Blue Day / Yellow City” is a sprawling, melancholy, and deeply stirring track that you can feel to your core as you are taken along the song’s musical journey. “Caroline” is pure deconstructed Delta Blues, with an almost impossibly low register that pulls you down into the depths of this evocative song. At times the song feels like funeral dirge, as it marches on towards its inevitable conclusion. For me, this is the stand-out track on the ablum. Described by the band, the song, “takes you on a road trip through the dark inner life of an initially inscrutable woman who finally finds her empathic abilities on the playground of a sonic experience. A slightly psychedelic, surrealistic but still understandable song about lost emotions. ”

“Passengers & Slaves” will test the limits of your speakers, and if you have a subwoofer, be prepared to feel every note of the stunning bassline that drives this song along with a rhythm that echoes a train rolling down the track. “Complex Animal” is perhaps the closest thing to traditional blues on offer on Red Rain Tires, however it is reimagined with the band’s signature style. “Scars” and “Butterflies & Dust” are more folk-rock style offerings that you would associate with the likes of Mumford & Sons. And closing the album is “Wrecks of Innocence” which really pushes the limits of the bands instruments and creates an extraordinarily complex sound for a three-piece band. Every ounce of sound is drawn out and extended through the song, and not a single note is wasted. It is an incredibly crafted song and a stunning production, which finishes the album on an exemplary note.

Red Rain Tires is a hard album to pin down, but that is part of its charm. It is familiar and yet often times alien, but it works on an intrinsic level. At its heart it is still a blues album in the tradition set forth by Muddy Waters, but it has transcended the genre and presents something new for listeners to engage with. The experience is made all the more enjoyable by the clarity of the production. The album produces a big sound, and nothing is lost. You can hear every nuanced note throughout Red Rain Tires, deepening the connection to the music that builds over the course of the album. If you’re a fan of the blues and you like to explore all the divergent pathways the genre has taken over the years, then this is an album you will want to pick up.

Ratings: 8/10

Written by: Erik De’Viking
My Global Mind – Reviewer / Music Journalist

Erik De’Viking is a freelance music journalist based in the South of England. His musical interests include rock and metal in all its forms, and he is constantly on the lookout for new bands and genres to discover and later preach about to the masses.

Socials: Twitter: @Erik_DeViking Instagram: @Erik_DeViking Last.FM: @Erik_DeViking Spotify: Erik De’Viking

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