A cheeky little EP from everyone’s favourite nameless ghouls in conjunction with a string of 41 US dates here. This contains one new track and 4 covers and is certainly a mixed bag of tricks and treats. Ghost have already given some indication of what sort of acts they like covering on the frankly much better ‘If You Have Ghost’ EP in 2013 but one look of the track-list here is bound to have a certain amount of eyebrow raising going on, well not totally as only 2 of the 4 song re-interpretations caused this whilst the other couple were met with more a case of blank incomprehension.
First up it’s the newbie ‘Square Hammer’ and a catchy little pious bugger it is too with its jaunty retro keyboard refrain and bouncy beat. It has one of those hard hitting Euro stadium rock choruses designed to lure you in and have the song going around in your noggin for an age and no doubt it is going to be a firm favourite already when they play it live. The forceful melody is easily accessible and with a few power chords thrown in to have you rocking out. It contains pretty much everything it requires to make it a sure fire hit song, well it would do if these Swedes ever get as well recognised as the likes of Abba but stranger things have happened.
Speaking of which, no doubt it being revived by a very excellent hit show we have the most interesting cover as far as I am concerned ‘Nocturnal Me’ from Echo And The Bunneymen’s classic 1984 (bloody hell is it really that old) album ‘Ocean Rain.’ After a few bars the stomping beat becomes recognisable but vocally compared to Ian Mcculloch’s delirious dark croons Papa Emiritus III sounds distinctly insipid. The players have a go at replicating the austere vibe and atmosphere of the original but for me it really comes across as a bit on the bland side. Still trying to replicate greatness is no easy task and it’s an interesting choice and one has to wonder if it had not been for the show if they would have chosen Back Of Love of The Killing Moon? Simian Mobile Disco (who?) ‘I Believe’ has a bit of harp and whimsical flavour and strikes as throwaway fodder and a song of little consequence or interest. It passes by giving nothing of any particular substance in its wake. Another singer of vast superiority is Annie Lennox but at least Ghost aren’t going for the obvious song here plumping for ‘Missionary Man.’ The Eurythmics number is pumped up with a bit of oomph about it and the lyrics seem to fit in with Ghost’s amusing devotional cosmos. The harmonica playing on it helps drive things along as do the wailing backing vocals, how they manage trilling that instrument from behind a mask has to be seen to be believed. Last up another unknown to me but no doubt not to Swedish 80’s music fans sees Bible by Imperiet. The song title again definitely fits in and once the chorus hits it does seem familiar and reminds of stadium AOR rockers like Foreigner and Boston. No doubt that’s the desired effect and it’s a pretty good pop / rock song seemingly done justice here. Not to my tastes but a song that certainly delivers.
This is quite passable and enjoyable as well as a bit of fun, perfect no doubt to pick up for those seeing the band on tour. Whilst it’s not going to particularly haunt me for long it provides a cool enough stop gap before the next album.
(6.5/10 Pete Woods)