Ghost Office teased releases throughout 2016, delivering a few visceral live shows along the way – including but not limited to, yes, a Haunted House Party. Now, on the back of some studio-level production and a new line-up, Richard Bailie, Joe Gilson and MK Maguire are proudly debuting their first EP. Recorded in Start Together Studios, ‘Least Resistance’ is a mainline to the band’s live energy, delivering otherworldly, unflinching garage punk.
Understated instrumentals provide the backbone for the release, lending an earnest DIY ethos to the sound; guitar lines are raw, bass and drum rhythms are driven as vocal delivery ranges between acid rock delays and Reuben-esque growls.
The band’s opener ‘Wolf Whistle’ is a frustrated negotiation of intimacy – contradictorily constant in its incompletion, Sisyphean: “again, again, again.” The song’s component parts stay largely out of phase, blurring together in an urgent tempo. Ghost Office make it clear from the outset they plan to keep one foot firmly planted in dissonance.
‘Concise Road Atlas’ is the release’s closest thing to a conventional love song. A slowcore description of dissociative love “leaving no trace” in delayed vocals before exploding into an acid wash of effects-laden guitar. For their first EP, Least Resistance is markedly conceptual. From the fatalism of ‘Capacity’ to the body-punk escapism of single ‘Dislocated Memory’, this is a deeply resonating EP borne out of introspection.
As instrumentals remain characteristically driven, dissonant and undeniably constant, the urgent delivery of ‘Dislocated Memory’ s tape-echoing vocal line starts to trip over itself. Normally, this is just a mark of poor recording. However, skillfully tracked into a song centred around paranoia and repetition, the band builds this psychedelic latency into the song – much to their advantage. Delivered with early punk conviction, a confident Joy Division mimicry.
Closing track ‘Fat & Depressed’ has seen the band’s debut airplay on Across The Line. Pulling a central guitar line out of House of Love’s ‘Shine On’, the track rounds off the EP as it contorts the New Romantic classic into artfully dissonant, god-left-me-unfinished garage punk.
“We wrote Least Resistance over a few practices and recorded it in a few hours with Rocky O’Reilly in Start Together Studios. While we’ve managed to keep it simple musically, its lyrical themes span lust, dissociation and anhedonia, as well as interpersonal and intellectual dissatisfaction. We did play a fancy dress gig in our kitchen though – that was fun.”