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"Holy Ghost!"

Holy Ghost! – Holy Ghost!
08 April 2011, 10:00 Written by Sharon Kean

Holy Ghost! seem to have been around far too long to be releasing their first album, what with having contributed mixing and musical skills to a string of DFA releases over the past few years. In fact, two of the said cuts were actually the duo’s own singles, ‘Hold On’ and ‘Do It Again’. The latter has been all over 6Music of late, meaning that the Brooklyn pair’s eponymous debut long player should be greeted with a familiar wave as it meets the light of day in the UK.

Both ‘Hold On’ and ‘Do It Again’ are present, along with a stream of analogue synth generated disco party music which pays its dues to New Order basslines as much as it nods respect to the super-hip italo disco sound of DFA family friend (The) Juan Maclean. Touting an en trend love of rare disco along with some helpfully fashionable label mates, on paper Holy Ghost! men Alex Frankel and Nick Millhiser sound every inch modern day hipsters.

That said, ‘It’s Not Over’ evokes the best bits of early 80s pop with it’s chart hero vocals and reach-for-the-sky chorus crescendo, slightly distancing Holy Ghost! from the too-cool-for-school New York Studio 54-emulating set. It’s followed by ‘Jam For Jerry’, a camp disco spin-around party piece that could easily be bastardised into a number one hit single if it was covered by Sophie Ellis Bextor. As it stands, its infectiously catchy hand claps and softly lisped verses make it one of the stand-out tracks (along with ‘Do It Again’) on a record full of euphoric peaks.

‘Say My Name’ begins subtly with a slightly sinister Kraftwerk-feel, sounding more like something from Glass Candy’s excellent Beatbox, before shaking off its aloofness, picking up the pace and running back to its 70s disco roots. The overall effect is addictive, with each of the songs seemingly reminiscent of the best bits of like-minded artists.

The influence of LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy is clearly audible on ‘Slow Motion’ which is surely to be expected given the amount of time both Frankel and Millhiser seem to have spent with the man during their music industry careers. But that’s where any sniff of unoriginality ends, as despite being firmly filed in a folder marked “DFA”, Holy Ghost! have put their own best feet forward to create a record full of rather exciting and potentially DJ-friendly club hits. You’ll also find them in the “likely to be massive” section.

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