Catch The Midnight Ghost Train. No, Seriously. Do it.

One assumes this is Johnny Boy. Maybe, maybe not.Someone needs to sign this band. Today.

Every now and then you find an unsigned band who make it all worthwhile, and that?s how I feel about Buffalo?s The Midnight Ghost Train. Not only are they self-financing a full month-long US tour, but their bluesy, boozy, diverse six-track The Johnny Boy EP — which is actually about 50 minutes long — is pushing the stoner envelope with a sound as natural as it is brazen.

A trio featuring Steve Moss on guitar and vocals, Keith Harry-Carey on bass (since replaced by O.D. Lallo of L.O.M.F. and formerly Negative Reaction) and drummer Jake Levin (since replaced by Brandon Burghart), also on piano, The Midnight Ghost Train are one of those bands who actually deliver when you say, ?Wow, I sure hope there?s a harmonica on this song.? The Johnny Boy EP opener ?Brothers? gets moving with a driving riff and the memorable, charming lyric, ?I?m in love with a new girl every week.? Moss? vocal has a very stoner rock rough edge, and on the softer, longer, more atmospheric ?Stranger? he seems to have taken a diction cue from Eric Wagner?s later work in Trouble. Not a bad thing since it works coupled with the echoing, bluesy guitar.

Moss can dig it. (Photo by Michael Alan Wells)Throughout The Johnny Boy EP, the compositions remain diverse. ?Waltz? keeps in line with ?Stranger? and ?Brothers? lyrically, furthering the theme of love come and gone over a bed of post-grunge heavy/quiet tradeoffs. The fuzzy bass leads the way, lending the song a sub-experimental bent that transitions well into the piano-laden ?In Fog.? Soulful guest female vocals from Caitlin Koch and more harmonica make the song a standout and highlight on the EP — at least until the 17-minute ?Woman of Hate,? which again features Koch and seems to cull together all the elements thus far presented and set them against a Sleep-style riff and a mad ramble beginning just after the song hits 10 minutes.

The long slowdown/deconstruction of ?Woman of Hate? — clearly meant as the apex of the album — ends in faded out feedback and the epilogue/closer ?Do You Feel? finds Moss strumming an acoustic guitar and saying, ?I?m just gonna go for it? Done while a pretty girl sleeps,? before delivering another lonely lyric. At about 2:42, it?s a quick, sentimental ending, but is one more reminder of the multi-faceted approach of The Midnight Ghost Train, who in just six tracks have helped validate the assertion that stoner rock is still alive and vibrant in the US and that there are bands out there still waiting to be discovered by the few who know enough to go find them.

And hopefully when they do find them, they sign them. Because, yeah, that needs to happen.

They call this the cover on their MySpace, but the one up top is the actual cover of the CD I got. Just wanted to make sure both were used.

The Midnight Ghost Train on MySpace

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3 Responses to “Catch The Midnight Ghost Train. No, Seriously. Do it.”

  1. romilar says:

    You are damn right! they need to go out with a real support from a label. Just hearing some songs on myspace and they rock! thumbs up!

  2. […] didn’t have the record that night to compare it to (though that is when I picked up their preceding release, The Johnny Boy EP), but looking back on that show now, it’s clear their set was only just a sample of the […]

  3. Steve Sherman says:

    Ive checked them out on youtube but they are very amature from what i see . I listened to it to give it a try but some of the songs are 8-9 minutes long? Who the hell makes songs that damn long? Especially if they are the same chords over and over lol I guess pink floyd did but thats entirely a different music and time and not the same. I dunno just calling it like i see and hear it. I think bands need to really practice and write good material first instead of just thinking you can put out subpar music and expect for things to just happen. I toured in a band for 10 years on a major label (Death Metal Label)and we worked hard on our material for over 2 years before we even thought of taking our music to shop around or even play outside our area. And we were signed within 6 months and financed to tour and even play some festivals in europe. I eventually had a family and opened a studio and decided to use my experience to record bands instead of playing professionally. Not everyone is so lucky and there are so many bands good and not so good that think playing shows and being cool is all it takes but thats dead wrong and unrealistic. Anyways my advice would be get a job and play locally if you cant get a local base to support you its not going to matter how many shows you play anywhere. Record labels are here to make money and if you are unable to be an asset than no one is going to take a shot on a liability. Thats the real world.

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