Long hair is alive again. Short hair is dead. All hail long hair. Forget your buzzcut sides and foppish quiffs. It’s all about no-nonsense, shoulder grazing locks and Roadkill Ghost Choir are the pioneers of this Super Furry movement. With such carefree hair, you’d expect the songwriting to amass to something of the Willie Nelson kind. However, upon listening to their debut album In Tongues, it’s evident that they are no means of the hippy variety.
Not to be confused with a Halloween band, Roadkill Ghost Choir have married the best elements of rock, folk and country.
Channelling the full blooded American greats such as Tom Petty, Joe Walsh & Conor Oberst, there is no doubt they love their dobro. So it comes as a surprise to hear the sort of horn arrangements that could only be attributed to Neutral Milk Hotel. An unnerving mixture, which the Florida five-piece have made work – particularly in Dead Friend. With horns gliding through effortlessly over beautifully understated guitar work, the instrumentation provides a stark contrast the country twinge that is experienced early on.
Tracks such as Down & Out may well hark back to days of old with the opening slide guitar, but it’s evident from the subtle synth parts that there is a bigger picture to R.G.C – something that even the band themselves might not be aware of yet. It’s evident to me that this is a band who is on the fence between genres, but hasn’t committed to one quite enough just yet. They’re still searching and the debut album possesses very real evidence that this could be a long road for the band to travel down. A journey which will take time and patience, but a rewarding journey non-the-less.
This January saw Roadkill Ghost Choir perform a rousing version of Beggar’s Guild on the world famous David Letterman Show… and it’s that sort of stage they seem to have effortlessly made the transition to, which so many other bands seem to fail at. Having played such prestigious events like Austin City Limits, New York Governor’s Ball and Bonnaroo, it seems as though the band is already set up to lead the line and help us all grow out our hair. And who could say no to that?
Roadkill Ghost Choir have set themselves up to be another fine addition to the great American song book.
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