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Posted on May 21st, 2010 (11:14 am) by Patrick Walsh

Static On The Wire, the debut EP from New York City disco production duo Holy Ghost!, is an inoffensive, fun, but ultimately unremarkable effort. Arrangement is where the best electronic dance music really flourishes and the arrangement here provides no interest or excitement. House music is often about finding the tension that exists among the instruments by constantly varying an endlessly repeating passage. Pop music is at its strongest when it's at its most succinct. Holy Ghost! seem unsure if they want to be Prince or Colonel Abrams, instead landing somewhere in the frustrating middle ground. The two greatest successes of their career so far, 2008's wonderful "Hold On," and their stunning remix of Panthers' "Goblin City," were built as slow, steady-building disco epics. Those tracks take their time to reveal themselves to the listener and reward patience in spades. Instead, these four tracks hide nothing from the listener and never really seem to progress anywhere. The result are four solid, serviceable tunes that could be elevated to greatness in the context of the right DJ set in the right club, as part of a greater musical whole, but don't exactly demand repeated home listening on their own.

For example, let's consider the use of guitar in the title track here versus the guitar in their extended disco remix of "Goblin City". "Goblin City" starts with a long extended and slowly building intro, lulling the listener into a state of calm, slowly introducing each new element. About six minutes in, it all breaks down and tension precipitously builds before a triumphant and liberating guitar solo comes out of nowhere, a moment that is literally jaw-dropping, never failing to cause me to make embarrassing faces on the metro. "Static On The Line" also features a similar shredding guitar solo, but I didn't even notice until I read somewhere that John Maclean (mastermind of fellow DFA act The Juan Maclean) contributed guitar on "Love It, Fill It up" and then listened to the EP again listening specifically for guitar. I gave it another listen and realized, "oh, hey, that one time through the main melody is on guitar instead of being sung". The problem is that the guitar and the vocals are completely interchangeable and have no real effect on the song.

All in all, Static On The Wire represents a step into the 80s for Holy Ghost!, but unfortunately this also means a step away from the club and toward the radio, but not enough of a step to achieve success.

Track List:
1. Static on the Wire
2. Say My Name
3. I Will Come Back
4. I Know, I Hear

Purchase at: Amazon | eMusic

Our Rating

62 / 100
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