REVIEW: I See Your Ghost – The Lathums.

Taken from the upcoming , brand-new EP, “Ghosts”, The Lathums have treated us to the first single I See Your Ghost. North-west writer Ian Dunphy had a good listen to the track before release, safe to say, he enjoyed it a lot!

Not content with demonstrating their mastery of Northern Soul with their cover of Al Wilson’s classic floor-filler The Snake (a one-off charity single raffled in aid of Wigan Athletic Football Club), The Lathums have now turned their talented hands to a bit of ska. Not the 60’s Jamaican blend, more the amped-up 80’s Midlands variety.

In the press release for the single, singer Alex Moore explains ‘There’s something inside me, maybe like everyone that ticks to the beat of reggae, ska…it’s how your heart beats’. I See Your Ghost is certainly a tune that sets the pulse racing.

The song starts with a bouncing bass riff from Johnny Cunliffe which is joined by Ryan Durrans’ percussion to provide the rock steady beat which forms the foundation for the song. There’s some fast-paced, choppy rhythm guitar to get you skanking before Moore’s vocals arrive.

The narrative of the lyrics feature the ‘enduring presence of the physically departed’ (or the existence of ghosts to you and me). They are delivered by Moore in what, at times, seems to be a stream of consciousness and with the rapidity of a machine-gun.

Emphasizing the ‘other worldly’ nature of the song’s subject matter, is the almost choral vocal section where Moore’s echoing voice seems to float around like a lost spirit. There is even time in the 2 minutes 31 that the song last for a Scott Concepicon guitar solo that sounds like a melody from a Russian folk song played at terminal velocity. When this song is eventually performed live, this is the point where it will go off in the crowd. A ghost dance is erupting.

What I find refreshing about The Lathums is that they are not afraid to take risks, they want to stretch themselves, try something different. A great many indie guitar bands get stuck in the rut of trying to write the next anthemic festival tune. Once in a while it’s nice just to have a song you can dance to.

I See Your Ghost is out on Island Records now. It’s not so much a Return of the Los Palmas 7, more a case of The Continuing Rise of the Pemberton Music Project 4.

Ian Dunphy

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