Fronted by the illustrious Nicolas Fromageau, the latest shoegazers on the arrondissement are the Parisians, Team Ghost. Fromageau, an ex-member of the critically-acclaimed French dream fuzzers M83, renowned for their style of dreamy, digitalised, KOL-esque anthem-chanting, has in the mean time teamed up with multi-instrumentalist Christophe Guerin and composer Jean-Philippe Talaga for this, his second EP under the Team Ghost moniker. So has Fromageau proved his point, after that bold exit from M83 seven years ago?
No, he has not. This EP hardly does him justice. Although infused with glorious, shimmering synths and note-worthy dynamic reverb, after just one listen, it is obvious something considerable is absent in its construction. Something is preventing Fromageau from shining beneath its sheen.
I feel a sense of having lost my time. It seems to me they have not covered any new ground – nothing has changed technically since their debut. They are stuck in no man’s land. What with a cargo of gifted Lo-fi bands currently laying down the law in the blogosphere, this appears somewhat dated in comparison. They seem to be living in the Midlands, at the beginning of the last decade. They owe too much to the swagger of lad-rockers The Music and Nottingham’s almighty Six By Seven, alas struggling to compete with the latter’s slick splendour. This, alongside the addition of rather obvious, insipid lyrics, doesn’t contribute to the record’s fervour.
What’s frustrating for me is the fact that I know Fromageau is apt and able to deliver wonderful music (see M83’s eponymous debut, or the follow-up Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts or even TG’s first offering). Occasionally, his hazy, soporific vocals highlight his individuality, presenting us with a slight glimmer of hope. But the EP taken as a whole, has an overbearing soggy, dull quintessence. If there were to be a film about the death of a snail, this would be a fittingly depressing soundtrack. The death of a worm, too invigorating.
From Huw Oliver.