Release Date: Feb 21, 2012
Record label: Last Gang
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
On Metal Moon, the first album from San Francisco-based Dirty Ghosts, there are moments of both supreme clarity and total cloudiness. The cover art is similarly black and white, though it also features two gray-blue strips on adjacent TVs. If the third color stands outs for a reason, maybe it speaks to frontwoman Allyson Baker's flatly cool emotionalism, as well as the band's clean—not formulaic—execution of dirty music, both major aspects of the Ghosts' unique debut LP.
Potentially eyebrow-raising as it is, it’s best not to become too fixated on the fact that Dirty Ghosts are a band fronted by Aesop Rock’s wife. While the American rapper did sit in the producer’s chair and lend his hip-hop touch to a number of tracks, Allyson Baker is an intriguing and experienced figure in her own right, completely in control of Metal Moon‘s musical direction. Coming out of leftfield and long in gestation, here is a record which—while far from perfect—makes a noble attempt to drag the rock dinosaur into the present.
Former Torontonian Allyson Baker has spent most of her life since the 90s playing guitar in punk, psych, surf and garage bands, but has finally taken her turn in front of the mic with her newest project, Dirty Ghosts. Now based in San Francisco, Baker takes an unexpected musical left turn by collaborating with hip-hop artist/producer Aesop Rock and finding inspiration in a buffet of classic pop sounds. These two factors have led to an eclectic, danceable feel, with one foot still in the garage.
San Francisco’s Dirty Ghosts is the vehicle of singer and guitarist Allyson Baker, formerly guitarist of the blues-rock unit Parchman Farm. Here, she swaps the guitar for a mic, taking on lead vocalist duties in full. There are several promising songs on the project’s debut record, Metal Moon, but the overall incongruity keeps it from landing much more than just above average.