Tuesday 1 August 2017

The Midnight Ghost Train - Cypress Ave. (Album Review)

Release date: July 28th 2017. Label: Napalm Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Cypress Ave. – Tracklisting

1. Tonight
2. Red Eye Junkie Queen
3. Glenn's Promise
4. Bury Me Deep
5. The Watchers Nest
6. Break My Love
7. Lemon Trees
8. The Boogie Down
9. Black Wave
10. The Echo
11. I Can't Let You Go(Bonus)

Band Members

Steve Moss - vocals, guitar
Brandon Burghart - drums
Mike Boyne - bass guitar


The Midnight Ghost Train is one of those rare bands who are raw and unpolished, yet there's so much structure within their music. That gives a lot of freedom. With each release they've become more sophisticated but has retained that rawness and directness they are so great at. And then there was 'Cypress Ave.'

Everything The Midnight Ghost Train has built up through the years has aligned perfectly on the new album and the outcome is breathtaking. Throughout many of the songs there is the rhythm, groove and beat of Clutch and mixed with the dark, sinister and bleak pictures painted in the lyrics, amazing tunes has been created. 'Glenn's Promise' and 'Bury Me Deep' are fantastic examples if this. Other songs, like the amazing 'Tonight', 'The Watchers Nest' and 'Break My Love' bring forth feelings of 16 Horsepower and Woven Hand being dually fronted by David Eugene Edwards and Mark Lanegan. The only oddity which works extremely well is the jazzy hip hop ditty 'The Boogie Down' which features Camp Lo's Sonny Cheeba. Funky to the tee with a brass section it follows suit with album as a whole. And this is another part of this band's greatness.

Lyrically The Midnight Ghost Train sing about the down-and-outs, junkies and people living in the fringes with not much hope of anything. It's like being at a crossroads with less than good options. They sing about lies, self-doubt, broken love and they do it so well. When any of the songs play you are immediately transported into the story and the pain and suffering is so vivid and real, it's like it's all happening to you. Listen to 'Black Wave' and you know what I mean.

2017 has been other-worldly when it comes to great albums being released and this Kansas trio certainly adds magic to it. The way these guys do whatever they want to while pouring their hearts and souls into it blows me away. But who's complaining? Not me, that's for sure, because 'Cypress Ave.' is a one-of-a-kind barnburner if there ever was one.

Words by Håkan Nyman
Thanks to Mona at Napalm Records for the promo. Cypress Ave. is now available to buy now on CD/DD/Vinyl from Napalm Records now.