Album: HRSTA – Ghosts Will Come And Kiss Our Eyes (Constellation CST048 2007)

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Ghosts Will Come And Kiss Our Eyes is Hrsta’s third album, their second for Constellation. The band is a kind of super-group of sorts. Mike Moya was a founding member of Godspeed You Black Emperor, as well as contributing to Set Fire to Flames and Molasses. Brooke Causer (organ and guitar) is also a member of Set Fire to Flames, as well as improv outfit Jackie-O Motherfucker. Bassist Harris Newman is primarily a mastering engineer by day, and drummer Eric Craven is one half of Hangedup.

The album alternates ghostly organ and guitar based instrumentals with vocal tracks featuring Moya’s oddly feminine, tremulous voice. The general mood is reflective, with some moments of stunning beauty. Of the instrumentals, “Tomorrow Winter Comes” is particularly good – a glacial, shimmering neo-ambient piece. “Hechicero Del Bosque” is the pick of the songs. It’s a brooding, lilting, slow-burning epic which builds to a breathtaking climax of controlled aggression. It is probably the band’s finest nine minutes to date. The neo-psych jam “Kotori” is the only other track of the nine that kicks into rock mode. The album ends with a cover of the Bee Gees’ 1967 US hit “Holiday”. It’s not a song I was familiar with. It’s actually quite a dark little piece.

Godspeed You Black Emperor only made three albums together (four if you count the Slow Riot EP), but the number of records that all of the members have been involved with subsequently is enormous. What’s more amazing is just how good many of these have been, and Ghosts Will Come And Kiss Our Eyes is one of the very best yet. It’s certainly Hrsta’s most focussed and consistent LP to date.

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