Resurrectionists – Now That We Are All Ghosts

Posted: 28 April 2023 in Albums
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Seismic Wave Entertainment – 3rd April 2023

Christopher Nosnibor

Now That We Are All Ghosts is the second album from Milwaukee’s Resurrectionists. It was self-engineered, recorded and produced; and mastered by Bob Weston at Chicago Mastering Service. The blurbage describes the album as featuring ‘nine songs of Doom Chamber-Americana, all powerfully cinematic and ripe for video treatments, leading the group to take the unusual and ambitious step of commissioning videos for every one of them.’ And we were privileged to premier the clip that accompanies ‘Let Me Talk You Through This One’ at the start of this week. Privileged because it’s really something special, not to mention unique.

It’s a crazy project for a crazy album. Returning with a different lineup and different approach to songwriting from their 2019 debut What Comes In, Now That We Are All Ghosts is, on the one hand, a set of accessible and somewhat folksy Americana songs. On the other…it’s dementedly intense and anything but the accessible Americana it presents as.

It’s noisy, and it’s intense, and the first song, ‘A Classic Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue’ (also my first encounter with the band) is a magnificent work, an example of songwriting that gets the slow-build, the power of transition, evolving from a sparse and gloomy to a rip-roaring soul-purging in no time, and it paves the way for a tempestuous, tumultuous album that drags the listener through some tough and unexpected twists and turns. ‘Hobnobbing With High Value Targets’ is superficially docile but channels darker undercurrents, both sonically and lyrically.

Whatever this album seems to be, it’s always so much more. The songs always end up in a very different place from there they begin: ‘The Ghost This Time’ is a slow blues-crooner, but it’s bruised and raw and there are some tendrils of post-rock tendencies which tickle their way around the wandering bassline. Joe Cannon sounds fraught, wracked, caught in a turmoil, and to draw an obscure reference, it brings together the most fucked-up evangelism with the psychological spasms of Mark Eitzel’s sole turn at fronting Toiling Midgets on the album Son.

‘The New Winter’ starts out with some vintage 70s US rock swagger, but rapidly shifts somewhere else and winds up coming on like Dinosaur Jr, while ‘Blue Henry’ begins softly, before erupting in a tide of anguished emotion, Cannon practically choking on his words as he wrenches them from his throat. Thew downtempo ‘Let me talk You Through This One’ is two minutes of wistful, reflective slackerist Americana, with hints of The Silver Jews.

The album’s final – and finale – track ‘(hotel with pool)’ may sit in parenthesis, but it encapsulates all aspects of the album and amplifies them further in a monumental six-minute monster, that grows and grows, from a somewhat tentative and soulful start to climax as a raging tempest, where instruments and vocals alike are pushed to the limit.

Now That We Are All Ghosts is one of those albums that really does take you by surprise, curving in first from one way and then the other, sliding in gently before tearing shreds in its own very fabric. Understated yet intensely potent, this is a powerful and accomplished album.



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