Have you ever heard a band for the first time and wondered why something about it sounded so familiar? I had this experience with Aussie progressive/alternative rock band Watercolour Ghosts recently. Gifted to me by Viral Propaganda, Watercolour Ghosts’ self-titled EP forced me to search why I was experiencing déjà vu. Learning that they are a collaboration between several members of different bands like Vespers Descent, Chaos Divine, and Deadspace, I began to understand why. All those bands are currently in my music library. They also have that type-casted aura of an Australian rock band, at least what I expect to hear from all those bands down under. But even though I feel like I’ve heard this sound in many other albums this year, I can’t get enough of it. An enjoyable twenty minutes of music, Watercolour Ghosts creates a good album in their latest EP.
With a combination of influences from progressive and post rock and metal, I had a difficult time grasping the entire scope of the album until I played “Watercolour Ghosts” on headphones. Typically “testing out” albums as background music in the office, this album always drifted off into the background, quickly ending without my noticing. It wasn’t until I walked away from the office setting with high quality headphones did I realize how much I’d missed out on! Even from the start, opener “Like Animals” begins with synthesizers and complex drum beats that I completely missed. The listener would also miss out on the subtle but complex guitar arrangements throughout the song. As usual, it wasn’t until I used headphones did I hear the groovy bass lines, especially in the song “Despondent.” Much of the album plays around with the volume switch, using different shades of loudness to reveal the song’s mood. Quiet, bright sections often give away to boisterous cries and heavy chords.
In relying on this technique, though, “Watercolour Ghosts” tend to sound the same from song to song. They all have slower intros and bridge sections with loud choruses. As many times as I’ve heard this album with and without headphones, something about the album was just missing. Yes, their range of influences of bands like A Perfect Circle, Katatonia, and Caligula’s Horse easily please my palate. It features an amazing drummer in Ben Mazzarol, and the hypnotically melancholic vocals of Drew James Griffiths. I’m hoping that whatever that attribute they’re missing, it will be filled by their first full length album. The talent that’s behind this band, though, I feel this is just a taste of something even greater.
So, what’s there to expect from Watercolour Ghosts’ debut self-titled EP? A group of five songs that although are impeccably performed, all sound very similar. If you grab the newer version of this EP, you will be treated with an acoustic version of “Like Animals,” which although a great remix is the lesser of the two. For fans of bands mentioned within this post, I would definitely recommend you give Watercolour Ghosts a listen, but anticipate something even better in the future. Please support this band by checking out their Facebook page for band updates.
Preview and purchase “Watercolour Ghosts” by Watercolour Ghosts by clicking the album cover above!