A Ghost Like Me
Whether you call them psychedelic, spacey, experimental or strange, A Ghost Like Me only has one priority: To make music that awakens one’s consciousness.
Asheville’s instrumental rock band, A Ghost Like Me, is now offering trips that extend far beyond the ears; it is music that stimulates inside and out.
“The New Paradigm,” the band’s first full-length album, released in spring 2011, is more than a composition. It’s an experience.
Beginning as a recording project in an Oakland, Calif., studio in 2007, guitarist Brad Rogers’ experiment transformed into a full-blown live rock band when he came into contact with drummer Eric Ernst, bassist Key Andrew and keyboardist Dave Milan. The sound complete, A Ghost Like Me came into being, transported to western North Carolina, and put its ethereal reverberations to record.
The result, “The New Paradigm,” unites four like minds in a far-reaching musical expanse that is both familiar and original. A Ghost Like Me draws influence from some of the best experimental bands out there, while also infusing individual and communal creativity. Veterans like Pink Floyd and modernists, such as Tool, resound through their music, but the final input is all their own.
Although they are completely instrumental, A Ghost Like Me does little to alienate, with beginning and ending tracks that are easily attractive to many music fans, literally “Bridging the Gap.”
Devotees of differing rock genres will find the band appealing in some way, whether it’s the driving rhythms of the bass and percussion, the comely melodies of the keys or the animated guitar playing.
What’s between the bookends can be interpreted in a number of ways, especially because A Ghost Like Me is completely instrumental. One can take the music for what it is on the surface – a forceful exploration of sound – or use the music as a vehicle to go deeper into the recesses of the mind.
Listed inside the CD jacket of “The New Paradigm” are “interesting places” that probably served as inspiration for much of the album’s material. Investigating the websites, which explore topics like mindfulness, world peace, utopianism and sustainability, will give the listener a better idea of what A Ghost Like Me was when constructing its music. Not knowing their topics of interest does not detract from the album, but it certainly facilitates a more enlightened listen.
Even without lyrics, “The New Paradigm” is quite absorbing. The absence of lyricism allows A Ghost Like Me to put all of its energy and thought into orchestrating a powerful musical machine. There are several movements within each song, pushing the album through almost an hour of music with minimal repetition. Rogers does take advantage of the technological invention of guitar loops, which are not used out of laziness, but act as the base for a more intriguing guitar solo that is laid over top of it. “Japan” is one of Rogers’ best uses of layering the guitar.
Loops also allow for A Ghost Like Me to make big noise, even though it’s a small band. Between four guys and a few instruments, their production is lush and bursting. The bursting “Threshold,” at more than six minutes, cranks through several tiers of noise, arousing many senses.
A Ghost Like Me has a setup similar to Pink Floyd’s, with a guitarist, bassist, drummer and keyboardist. Despite lacking a vocalist, the band borders the level of greatness achieved by rock’s premier experimentalists.
A Ghost Like Me inspires creativity, facilitates meditation and relaxation and propels deep thought. Drop into “The New Paradigm,” close your eyes, open your mind and prepare to be shifted.
For more information and a listen, visit http://www.reverbnation.com/aghostlikeme.