Based in SoCal, surf-rock/post-rock outfit The Ghosts of Searchlight will release their new album, Sprawl, on November 19.
Speaking to the album, guitarist Brian Horn shares, “‘Sprawl’ was a chance for us to take a step forward by stepping back. A chance to slow down, take our time with the music and allow moments to breathe.”
He continues, adding, “With ‘Sprawl,’ we wanted to expand the Ghosts sound and branch into unexplored territory: a 4-track, some mandolin, strings, even a seven-year-old beatboxing. We’re usually a three-piece capturing live energy but this one was all about layering the sounds that either made up life around us at the time or haunted our dreams.”
Brian Horn grew up in Las Vegas and later migrated to Long Beach, California. He now splits time between the two cities. He started out playing in ska and punk bands, followed by forming a band called The Ovalteens. Later, in college, he played with various bands.
The Ghosts of Searchlight got together in 2006, adopting the name of a small silver mining town in the Mojave, followed by releasing These are…The Ghosts of Searchlight and Here Lie…The Ghosts of Searchlight. The band then took a lengthy hiatus. In 2020, the band reformed with Ben Kaplan providing drums, additional guitars, and bass.
Encompassing 10-tracks, entry points on Sprawl include “Beneath the Neon,” opening on Dick Dale-like surf-rock guitars riding a delicious rhythm made up of a cavernous bassline and dazzling drums.
“Cauterizing Asphalt” begins with B-horror flick organ textures and then flows into luscious surf-laced guitars pumping out galvanizing licks. As the guitars ramp up, the harmonics take on muscle. Whereas “Taste of Freedom” opens on classical strings, dripping with prog-rock savors. Dark guitars enter, filling tune with deep, groaning tones.
“Low Density” rolls out on thick guitars and then drops to sizzling textures full of incandescence. The bassline on this track vibrates with reverberating tones, bolstering Brian’s dazzling guitar licks.
The final track, “Life in the Sprawl,” features mysteriously emerging coloration, followed by a gentle, glistening guitar back by ethereal suffusions, drifting and wafting on sensuous layers of sound.
Sprawl blends flavors of surf rock and post-rock hints into music rife with electrifying leitmotifs and exquisite guitar work.