TV Ghost | Mass Dream

In the Red (2011)
By REYAN ALI  |  April 13, 2011
2.0 2.0 Stars

TV main
Welcome to beautiful Lafayette, Indiana: population 67,000, plus the four rapidly disintegrating psyches of the guys in TV Ghost. Make that disintegrated. Moments on Mass Dream, their second LP, indicate that they've already been pushed over sanity's precipice. In the unsettling spirit of Big Black, Arab on Radar, and doom metal, TV Ghost provide a voyeuristic peek at how a contaminated mind sounds as music. Instruments never purposely offer a pleasurable listening experience; no, they're unattractive, surly, and always threatening to change rhythm. The opening riff of "Cancer," for one, is like a knife being hastily sharpened on a slab; the rest of the song is a vivisection, substituting cruddy distortion for splashes of blood. Frontman Tim Gick whispers, shouts, and howls accordingly, stretching syllables to savor the particularly cracked-up lines. TV Ghost justify the trip to the asylum when they crank up the agitation and personality, building into hammering freakouts and rummaging through surf-rock-gone-wrong half-hooks. But too often their sound is demented without making a long-term impression. What separates Edvard Munch's The Scream from a homeless nutcase spewing random slurs is the painting's captivating trauma. Mass Dream is leagues better than hobo babbling, but it doesn't have the commanding, unflinching lunacy of, say, Songs About Fucking.
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