Thursday, February 20, 2020

Friends of Ghosts - Realm of the Senses (1987, C'est la Mort)

Despite hailing from San Diego, Friends of Ghosts sounded like they were the stuff of thoroughly British stock.  Frontman D. Andrew Marries (aka Donnie Darq) went a long way in playing up the trio's Anglophile leanings by floating a convincing Brit accent atop Friend's noir, but often cheeky canvas.  On Realm of the Senses it's often hard to discern where the irony ends and where the gravity begins.  Much like the coterie of inspirational antecedents they were wont to draw from - The Birthday Party, Syd Barrett and Bauhaus, there's often a lack of immediacy to this record.  So much  so there's barely a hook in sight to grab onto until you reach Realm's halfway mark on "Eleven Boy" - but when it peaks you'll be duly rewarded.  Textures and idiosyncrasies were the Friend's ostensible raison d'etre, wherein these kids hopscotched from the percussive "Windows" to the metallic stomp of "Juju Digby Juju," and onto "Ciao Manhattan," which escalates from a chilled out piano ballad to something entirely more rocking.  Virtually every realm that inhabits Realm bares a demeanor of it's own making, the most persuasive being the concluding "WMT" a melodic and measured three minute bliss-take that suggests what the Psychedelic Furs might have conjured up around the same era had they not gotten so irreparably tangled up in pink. 

01. Realm of the Senses
02. William the Scotsman
03. Hollywood Land
04. Sinister Daze
05. Eleven Boy
06. Windows
07. Juju Digby Juju
08. Noel
09. Ciao Manhattan
10. Broadcast of Love
11. WMT


DeathDealer said...

I don't know you find these but Thanks

Dave said...

Truly obscure. There's a live show of theirs from 1989 on the youtube. Interesting band... it sounds like they weren't sure whether they wanted to be a psychedelic pop band or a prog rock band (I hear shades of Rush...) and didn't fully commit to either. Anyhow, cool find.