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TROPICAL FUCK STORM Legal Ghost gets 8/10


Tropical Fuck Storm

Legal Ghost
Flightless

8/10

Tropical Fuck Storm are back at it again with Legal Ghost, another sterling addition to a consistently brilliant and prolific catalogue built over the last few years. Tropical Fuck Storm are a supergroup of sorts, formed after The Drones went on hiatus in 2017. Bandleader and living legend Gareth Liddiard and Drones bandmate/wife Fiona Kitschin team with Lauren Hammel (High Tension) and Erica Dunn (MOD CON, Harmony and Palm Springs). Many singles and two albums later, the band have shown themselves to be an even louder and more ragged extension of The Drones’ art-meets-noise-rock sound.

Latest single Legal Ghost is actually a re-working of a 90s track by early Liddiard project Bong Oddysey, written right here in WA. It’s further proof of the frontman’s inherent talents, as the lyrics and songwriting of a teenage Liddiard gives most artists a run for their money.

Lyrically it’s an abstract and nightmarish story of someone coming undone and facing their mortality, marked for death despite being among the living. Lines like, “It doesn’t matter who you sleep with now / You’ll always sleep alone” have a creeping finality, and this track’s instrumental more than backs it up. In classic Drones and Tropical Fuck Storm fashion this is noisy, foreboding stuff. The backing starts with bass more deep and rumbling than we’ve ever heard from the band, before layering on spiky guitar noises and a repeating phrase that sounds like an echo. Liddiard’s vocals slowly reach a crescendo but it’s on the song’s quieter moments that his cracked delivery is most effecting.

This is a sprawling, epic cut. We eagerly await the release of the B-side, a cover of Talking Heads’ Heaven which will hopefully channel some of this same dark energy.

MATIJA ZIVKOVIC

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