Cedric : The American band The Midnight Ghost Train is finally ready to deliver us the follow-up to their amazing ‘Cold Was the Ground’ from 2015. The band has always been a very productive one, regularly releasing new material, which took them a little longer than usual now. Singer/guitarist Steve Moss had to undergo wrist-surgery and needed to put the guitar aside for a while to fully recover, but the band is now ready to present us album number four, called ‘Cypress Ave.’.
What you can immediately notice about the new material of the band is that the music is even more organic-sounding than before. On ‘Cypress Ave.’ they focus less on only providing us with the known heavy, groovy riffs or playing that recognizable stoner/sludge sound. This new album shows us a band that embraced a lot of new influences in their sound and so creating a more mature and thought through sound. This definately does not mean that their material sounds forced now, on the contrary, I have never heard The Midnight Ghost Train playing on an album with this much fun and enjoying their own music.
Fans of the band already know that these Americans do not like their music to just be categorized into the stoner label, even though the style of music they play really tends towards it, so on ‘Cypress Ave.’ the band made it a bit more harder for us to do so. Acoustic guitars and even some brass instruments were added to the familiar groovy riffs and rocking bass parts. The songs are regularly a bit slower than before, together with much more room for experiment and emotion. Once in a while the band returns to the sound we came to know from them on previous albums, but fans will have to give the new material some extra time to get them adjusted to the new vibe of it. Many times their music now reminds me of mix between Mark Lanegan, Tom Waits, Everlast, Kyuss and Brant Bjork. From stoner to blues, americana and even some country or singer/songwriter. There is even a song, called ‘The Boogie Down’, in which they make use of hip hop elements, in collaboration with Sonny Cheeba (Camp Lo).
As I said, for people who are already familiar with the band’s music, it might take some extra time to get used to this ‘updated’ sound of The Midnight Ghost Train. But, you get a genius album with plenty of great songs and vocals in return. These Americans have always been a great live band and I am convinced that these new songs will definately give their setlist an extra vibe and variety. ‘Cypress Ave.’ proves that The Midnight Ghost Train is a band that keeps on growing, but never losing sight of their musical roots.