Release Date: Mar 24, 2017
Record label: Cryptic Corporation
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
The Residents have always had a fondness for concept albums from The Third Reich'n' Roll to Wormwood: Curious Stories From The Bible. The Ghost Of Hope is their latest, based upon tales of train wrecks from the 19th and early 20th century. Not something that most bands would contemplate but a clever concept allowing The Residents to combine their mastery of music and lyrical narrative on seven, sometimes lengthy tracks.
This moving yet strangely exhilarating album is a distant relative of The Residents' 1979 album Eskimo, their sonic studies of Arctic culture. The Ghost Of Hope uses for its text yellowing cuttings describing the all-too-frequent railway disasters that befell America when the mode of transport was in its infancy. The tracks are a mixture of recited newspaper reports, describing the carnage in affectingly quaint tones, coupled with a soundtrack that combines railway sound effects with an ever-changing soundscape of styles: on Death Harvest, for example, traversing from dark ambient to propulsive rock.
The Ghost of Hope is another new starting place for the Residents, and a bit of background is in order for this album. It's the first album of all-new material in quite some time. Released in early 2017, it was actually started several years earlier and postponed as the Talking Light project morphed into a trilogy of tours and albums. As the tours continued, the Resident who has become known as "Charles Bobuck" decided first to stop touring with the band, then to leave the Residents altogether (roughly coincidental with Hardy Fox leaving the Cryptic Corporation).
The Residents exist outside of time, place, and scene. They’re outsiders. It may seem like their music evokes camp sometimes, but they are unbelievably serious about that camp. They may seem to be feigning horror, but they just really like those strange tones. Furthermore, they have been at ….