Release Date: Jul 8, 2008
Record label: Iamsound
There’s a reason why vampire enthusiasts have generally gone to the punk end of the spectrum as opposed to the metal end. Vampires, which exist in the realm of fantasy, comic books and RPGs, have always appealed to social outcasts, goths and nerds, whose trademark qualities are insecurity and emotional vulnerability. Both the Cure and Mayhem dress like vampires, but the Cure’s greatest legacy is that kind of vulnerability.
When Simian disbanded, the majority of the group became Simian Mobile Disco, while former singer Simon Lord hooked up with former Wiseguys producer DJ Touche (aka Theo Keating) and became one half of the Black Ghosts. Though the duo's self-titled debut album is less bouncy and eclectic than Simian's work, Lord's years with that band sharpened his pop skills, and his smooth croon is still immediately recognizable. To be fair to the Black Ghosts, Lord and Touche whip through nearly as many sounds and hooks as Simian did -- they just take a subtler, slightly more sophisticated approach that fits in nicely with Hot Chip, Chromeo, Gorillaz (it's no coincidence that Damon Albarn makes a cameo on "Repetition Kills You"), and other dance-meets-rock contemporaries.
The debut album from U.K. electro-pop duo Black Ghosts fails to deliver on the great promise engendered by their stunning early single, “Some Way Through This.” It’s such a gripping piece of futurist R&B that it could easily pass for a lost Aaliyah/Timbaland production. The vocals are raw and impassioned enough that first-time listeners will be forgiven for failing to recognize that the singer is a white British male -- Simon Lord, formerly of Simian -- and not a backup singer for Rhianna.