Sky Is Falling
Ghost Town is a new band/collaboration between drummer Bryan Shaw, singer/pianist Mark Beesley and guitarist/singer/producer Jed Town. Town’s many monikers include the mighty Fetus Productions – but this pioneer of Kiwi-flavoured post-punk and electronica/noise/performance-art is here in a relaxed country/ish mode – his love of Beatles melodies to the fore. It’s a relaxed-sounding set of tunes but the focus is razor-sharp. John Lennon is clearly a hero and the opening brace of songs give that obvious nod, but also, it’s about people influenced by Lennon too – I hear Elvis Costello in the cover of David Wiffen’s Driving Wheel and it’s to Warren Zevon by way of Daniel Johnston for the gorgeous closer, So Sweet.
But right from the start – presented on vinyl, sounding warm, spacious – this album hints at a love of the production style of Jeff Lynne – Make It feels like a long lost Wilburys song, or outtake from one of the later-in-life George Harrison solo albums that had Lynne at the desk.
The twin peaks of this record are the two title tracks though – the first being the album’s title track, it’s followed by a song named after/for the group. Again, it’s that George Harrison/Jeff Lynne feel for the song Sky Is Falling, actually the vocal is reminiscent of Lynne’s work on his recent solo record where he reimagined standards – and the song Ghost Town, almost Tonight’s The Night-era Neil Young, is an elegiac re-piling of a tune built from the rubble of several heartbreak odes; something hopeful in the build of the song, in the way the vocals never quite harmonise but sit together, waiting neck and neck to offer different versions of that Neil Young croak and bleat.
The song Too High does something supremely clever with the melody of Foreigner’s Waiting For A Girl Like You – in that it states it, recontextualises it, rides on it, and yet you never quite see it as a direct lift.
Ghost Town is my new favourite band. Sky Is Falling is a wonderful album. And this review should probably go on to say even more but actually I just want to tell you that this album exists and that you must hear it. If you like ‘Good’ music (the only genre that matters) then you must hear – and have – this.