Album Review: How To Skin A Ghost - Gypsy Death Star

If Hurts are like a bunch of eighties boy band wannabe losers - more Savage Garden than Tears For Fears - then Gypsy Death Star is the real deal. The alter ego of Wyatt Hull and Cesar Augusto, Gypsy Death Star's sound is somewhere between eighties new romanticism and modern IDM. Album opener 'Throwing Hail Marys' buzzes and sparks with throbbing bass and atmospherics. 'Wax & Wane' turns up twice, once in the form of a slow, ominous ambient piece on the 'WarriorMix' and again, closing the album as the 'Original ix', this time with more of a beat, if only just. 'Heavenly Asylum' is distorted and fractured with a fuzzy melody that veers close to sounding 8bit. The highlight has to be 'Shake Down', with its distorted guitar picking its way through the intro before the manipulated vocals insist on telling us just how bloody lovely and adorable we are. By the chorus serenade, complete with a lovely 'everybody join-in' "ooh oooooh" bit, it is a wonder the subject of the song was clearly such a bitch. Because if this is anything to go by Gypsy Death Star must be pretty lovely. And it only works because this unashamedly 'pop' moment stands in isolation on what is otherwise a short and relatively reserved album. How To Skin A Ghost feels very much like an introduction rather than the realisation of all of Gypsy Death Star's ideas and for that we should be grateful. BP x How To Skin A Ghost is out now on Earth Delivery Records, available from on MP3 [affiliate link]. For more information on Gypsy Death Star visit the official site.