Calgarians Extra Happy Ghost!!! bring a decidedly lo-fi selection of tracks on their six-song EP. Their music is a bit like a Jackson Pollock painting transmogrified into sound art: splotchy, questionable and occasionally disorienting. While the sound is gritty and abrasive, the songs themselves are simple, at times even adolescent, and the intended musical flourishes end up feeling misplaced and alien.
The EP aspires to the romantic ideal of the lo-fi demo tape of an up-and-coming band, but instead comes off as self-important and ends up in the land of kitsch.
Recorded on bargain bin equipment with simple melodies and rhythms piped through plumbing-like reverb, the over-distorted and occasional gratuitous delay make for a mush of sound that is not altogether unpleasant. But the constant musical misfiring make it a hard pill to swallow.
The highlight is the second track, “mash-up: neither being nor nothingness,” which is the most balanced and clear of the six track selection. There is some energy and life to the track, and it deftly walks the tight rope of passable without any unwelcome, wince-inducing surprises. There is potential here, but it remains unclear whether the music is nascent or on life-support. Perhaps next time out they should turn down the pretension, put the songs through a proper mix and master and crank up the musicality. The talent is there, but between the sonic stomach punches, it’s hard to appreciate.