PREMIERE: Cool Ghouls Act Cool on “Animal Races” LP

Gimme that rock and roll music.
PREMIERE: Cool Ghouls Act Cool on “Animal Races” LP

Gimme that rock and roll music.

Words: Sadie Sartini Garner

photo by Arvel Hernandez

August 15, 2016

Cool Ghouls / photo by Arvel Hernandez

You have probably heard bands that sound like Cool Ghouls before. The San Francisco quartet are not breaking new stylistic ground, they aren’t pushing any envelopes, and they aren’t challenging any artistic norms. This is their greatest asset.

Animal Races is the band’s third full-length, and it’s comprised of eleven tracks of shaggy rhythms and guitar flirtations played with such loose conviction and happy sincerity that it sometimes feels as though these performances have always existed, or that they might be easily captured by anyone. Standout track “Sundial” rings and chimes like the Byrds and Big Star, but it’s capped by a melancholic anthem of a chorus line that might have been written by Dave Grohl fifteen years ago. The opening title track hammers along its tracks and gives way to a guitar rave-up that never quite boils over, its cool show of control providing drama enough. “Time Capsule,” meanwhile, comes across like the burnt edge of a long and hot jam, while “When You Were Gone” marks a minor shift into ballad mode and is punctuated by a weeping steel guitar.

Animal Races is a rock and roll record, in other words, which means that it’s a show of attitude as much as it is a show of skill and imagination. The swagger that comes through these eleven tracks gives them a kind of life beyond their forms, making them sound fresh and vital.

We’re pleased to be premiering Animal Races this morning. You can give the entire thing a listen below, and check out the band’s upcoming tour dates.

Cool Ghouls tour dates

8/16 Los Angeles – Resident
8/17 Tucson, AZ – TBA
8/18 El Paso, TX – Monarch
8/19 Austin, TX – Lakehaus
8/20 San Antonio, TX – Limelight
8/22 Denver, CO – Syntax
8/23 Salt Lake City, UT – Diabolical Records
8/24 Boise, ID – The Olympic
8/25 Portland, OR

9/1 Zagreb, Mochvara Club, Croatia
9/2 Ljubljana, Bizzarnica, Slovenia
9/3 Wien, Chelsea, Austria
9/4 Prague, Famu Club, Czech Republic
9/6 Gent, Cafè Video, Belgium
9/7 Groningen, De Spieghel, Netherlands
9/8 Lille, Le Biplan, France
9/9 Paris, Espace B, France
9/10 Chatillon sur Seiche, Rock On Noyal, France
9/11 Tilburg, Incubate Festival, Netherlands
9/12 Antwerp, TBA, Belgium
9/13 Bruxelles, Pin Pon, Belgium
9/14 Dortmund, Rekorder, Germany
9/15 Breda, Electron, Netherlands
9/16 Berlin, Humboldthain club, Germany
9/17 Dresden, Ostpol, Germany
9/20 Brighton, Sticky Mike’s Frog, UK
9/21 Northampton, The Black Prince, UK
9/22 London, Birthday’s Dalston, UK
9/23 Liverpool, Liverpool Psychfest Festival, UK
9/24 Sheffield, Picture House Social, UK
9/25 Manchester, The Eagle Inn, UK
9/27 Strasbourg, Mudd Club, France
9/28 Geneve, La Graviere, Switzerland
9/29 Heilbronn, TBA, Germany
9/30 Lausanne, Le Bourg, Switzerland
10/1 Firenze, Annibale Night, Italy

Animal Races is out August 19 on Empty Cellar Records/Melodic. You can preorder the album in the US here and the UK here.