Midnight Ghost Train
Wo Fat, Dozer, Karma To Burn
While we do have a boatload of obscure stoner rock in rotation and our editors have lived and breathed the genre, you will note the site is not dominated with the genre. So it does require some ingredient (good or bad) to strike our fancy to get a review on board. The Midnight Ghost Train have achieved that by way of not only a great album cover and intriguing name, but an interesting layout of cuts off their sophomore LP (or pseudo EP). The trio have put forth an entertaining 30 minutes over eight tracks. With roots in the midwest (Kansas) the band started as a eulogy for lead guitarist and singer, Steve Moss' best friend, John Goff who passed away suddenly from an asthma attack.
The first three tracks off the album are straight-shooting stoner rock cuts. Moss' gritty Crowbar-esque vocal style provide some flair reminding us of the great Wo-Fat. Moss' voice definitely needs a clearing of the throat, but the phlegm sticks and is part of the gritty aura of the band. As a visual, we have laid out below the song track ratings. The first three cuts are solid, a bit more invovled than your dime a dozen stoner rock bands we have heard over the last twenty years. Things begin to change with more intriguing guitar-work and euphoria out of "Tom's Trip." Turning things up a bit more with "Spacefaze" a stellar riff laden groove punctuated energy.
The last 3 tracks really impress the shit out of us. Here the album makes a dramatic turn to really provide the Kansas root grit and paints a tremendous bold feeling that will stick with you. "Cotton Fields" is a cover tune sung mostly a cappella by Moss. Moss' grit and the beauty in the song really makes an about face for the album leading into two amazing final tracks in "Southern Belle" and "Into the Fray." Both songs contain similar riffs and combined only run about five minutes, but man give these two songs a few rotations. "Southern Belle" takes a disturbing voyeuristic view and really hits home with its powerful vocals and theme. "Into the Fray" carries this vibe int a fantastic ending. Its these last three tracks that really impress here. This album could have turned an editor's pick had they started with these three cuts and continued the dark gritty eerie vibe. - 5/4/2014
1. A Passing Moment of Madness - 6
2. Henry - 7
3. Foxhole - 6
4. Tom’s Trip - 7
5. Spacefaze - 7.5
6. Cotton Fields - 8
7. Southern Belle - 9.5
8. Into The Fray - 9.5
Average non-weighted = 8
Standout Tracks: Southern Belle, Into The Fray