The (Finally) Popnarcotic Top 20 Of 2009 (Cont.)

February 18, 2010 at 3:03 pm (Uncategorized)

13. Deleted Waveform Gatherings, Ghost, She Said

I’ll come clean here: Ghost, She Said, the third DWG album was the first record of theirs I’d ever heard, and I was sort of amazed to discover that fact and then also discover that I’d sort of wandered into a film in the middle act. Deleted Waveform Gatherings is the music brainchild of a Norwegian rock and pop maestro named Øyvind Holm. Holm’ band used to be called The Dipsomaniacs and they recorded a few albums…but wouldn’t you know, there was a Jersey band going by that same name. Holm picked a new name (chosen, seemingly, to ensure that it was an original) and here we are, third album from Deleted Waveform Gatherings.

Let me try to take you through what listening to this record was like for me the first time out. The album opens with an almost desperate acoustic-fueled song called “Doorway” that drops an amazing middle 8 out of nowhere to take a decent song and make it a very good one…but on the heels of that fine tune we get “Shaman’s Tambourine”, an Allman/Black Oak Arkansas-esque stab at arena boogie that just seems out of place and which quickly made me a lot less interested in Ghost, She Said.

And then along comes the stunner. There’s nothing in Øyvind Holm’s history to suggest he had a tune like “Miss Missing You” in him, but damned if he doesn’t grab you by the ears and then sock you in the guts from almost the very beginning of the song. I think what this number (and really what the rest of the record) has going for it is that Deleted Waveform Gatherings is revealed to be not so much just one of those bands with a pop wunderkind with a band unable to do them justice. No, if the nimble bass and absolutely wonderful drums on “Miss Missing You” don’t immediately convey the true group-nature of Deleted Waveform Gatherings, then the inspired electric banjo that goes wending through the second verse absolutely does.

Not that “Miss Missing You” is the only wonderful slice of instantly-memorable guitar pop here. “The Doc” sounds as if all it’s missing is the “Rocks Off” horn section. “Hate Waiting In Line” starts off sounding like Brian Jonestown Massacre before throwing down a descending note chorus that’d make Noel Gallagher green with envy. “Don’t Wanna Know” either sounds like The Who covering late-period Replacements, or vice-versa.

What inevitably hurts a band like Deleted Waveform Gatherings in the commercial marketplace is that there are so many bands attempting the guitar-pop with a Lennon-ish hue thing that do such a mediocre job of executing that vision that when a group comes along possessing the songwriting moxie of an Øyvind Holm and the stiff rocking backbone of the DWG rhythm section, it’s easy to think “I’ve heard this before” without fully realizing that actually no, we haven’t. How good is Ghost, She Said? This good: since they’re sort of working the same territory as Brendan Benson, I decided this list was only big enough for an either/or between them…and Deleted Waveform Gatherings took the prize.

“Miss Missing You”
“The Shadow Of Your Ego”

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