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Quick Hits: Gemma / The Ghosts of Searchlight

Last updated on December 7, 2021

GemmaGemma. This Greek collective creates rock with post-rock artiness, electronic vibes, and lots of drums. The high-energy moments have the dynamic thrust of PG.Lost, while the electronic moments are full of tension a la CUTS (as on the opening track). The female vocalist adds a lot of energy to the work, whether doing melismatics for mood or delivering melodic lines. The band does a great job breaking up the tempo and vibe of the songs without compromising the overall cohesiveness of the work. The closer is a slow-burning 11 minutes long, and is worth every second of it. Dark, powerful, and deeply felt, this record is a winner. Highly recommended.

Sprawl – The Ghosts of Searchlight. Most post-rock has heavy guitars but isn’t actually rock. That’s kind of the point: it uses rock sounds to make non-rock. Well, The Ghosts of Searchlight is an instrumental rock band. It morphs the post-rock concept to make instrumental rock music. It also adds surf-rock, classical music, and loads of vintage TV clips to the work. As a result, this is an album that (indeed) rocks. It has riffs. It does not mess around. It also has a serious message about suburban sprawl (it’s bad, it’s a trap, it changes people, it keeps them going in circles endlessly without meaning). Still: even if you’re not here for the social criticism, show up for the rock.