The Ghoules deliver sharp stabs of an EP with House Creeper

Review by Lee Barber, The Underground Venue Manager, Co-Producer of The Honey Box and Honey Box Hive project lead

Sabbath gets a hint of King Gizzard in this enthralling new set of blisteringly hot stompers from The Ghoules.

Launching with immediate intent into a smashing riffage and punchy progressions, House Creeper holds a choral melody just edging on the right side of catchy; it’s cool without the cliché. Halfway through and the band drops us into a dark pit of the anthemic ‘He wants you, he’ll take you’, before leaving us there to soak in squalor amongst the chugs of guitar and clamed beats, while a subtle solo showers us with intrigue and hope, while we fade into the darkness of 80’s-lathered British heavy metal.

Second track Tonight (Hell) is much of the same; hard hitting snare, rough and ready guitar punches and chugs, with soaring vocals and memorable melodies that linger, while final track Bloody Holly really hits on the cool AF riffage. You can just see all those scrunched up faces in the pit as soon as the opening riff drops, joined by some sickeningly sweet bass lines and cunning progressions. Frontman James Bettaney explained the vision behind the release.

“We thought of House Creeper as less of an EP, that really works to mark the sound of the band, and more rather as a capsule. We wanted to make a NWOBHM song, which I think very few bands would actually try in earnest today, but after that we had more to say, so it grew into a 20 minute EP.

“‘We like the notion of a capsule, as a concise body of work, with no strings attached or any kind of world-building, which seems to be involved with almost every piece of media at the moment. The imagery and the sound are one and the same, it’s a bit Mickey Mouse in that way, there’s no depth to it at all, deadly simple. We were thinking about early 80’s VHS slashers and themes of home invasion.”

The Ghoules are really finding their sound with this release, and the most annoying part of it, the whole recording process was but a few days’ work for the four-piece, as Bettaney revealed.

“It’s a sharp stab of an EP, then it leaves you. Recording it was no different, it took two days, in and out, most instruments went down very quickly, the vocals took about three hours; and this was at the other end. It’s a thing in itself, and we like that format.”

The Ghoules are certainly hitting out the sharp stabs with this release, but their sound is not one which will leave you in a hurry. The Staff/Cheshire based band will be performing live at The Rigger on April 6 as part of the Smoke on Trent all dayer.

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