Label: Inverse Records
Shape Without Form is the 4th album by the collective Ghost Toast, hailing from Debrecen, Hungary. They were formed as a trio in 2009 and evolved into a quartet in 2009. And this album is already a strong contender for my favorite reviews of 2020. Reviewing albums is a risky business and sometimes you might be stuck with awful stuff. Rest assured, this is not it. I don’t know what to think, but maybe thinking is not the right thing to do, since I definitely feel the awesomeness when I listen to the album.
Here goes a description of what you, dear listener, are going to have in your hands. Trippy, progressive, funky stuff. To put it in a metaphor, Thievery Corporation meets Dream Theater in the arena where Mogwai is giving a concert covering Pink Floyd. Yeah, this cool! There are no vocals and I don’t miss them. They are masterfully substituted with sound clips from different online artists and films. I feel the geekiness of these guys for cinema and weird culture in general and I love it. For example, the first album is called Toast in the Shell, a clear reference to the seminal Manga and Anime work Ghost in the Shell. I mean, they made a pun with one of my favorite series of all time. This match between them and me was meant to be.
About the tracks, “Frankenstein” starts with a shower of keyboards. Enough to tease a blast in drums and electrical discharge of power. That’s not the same idea you get from “Eclipse”. The moment it starts you know immediately that a blast will be coming your way. Somehow, I got a 90’s nostalgia but can’t point my finger. This is the longest track of the album, a little more than 8 minutes. Not painful at all, since I love long songs. It is a trip on its own and a major work in the drums.
“Y13” starts with a bass drop. Yeah, that kind you see in Dubstep parties. Then calms down for a bit, but keeps the funk alive after a “Darkside of the moon” type of resemblance and lovely cello work.
“Hunt for life” combines reggae rhythms, the vocal samples are from a YouTuber’s (Kelly Jenny). The original is called Krummavísur.
And if you think that after all the abnormally fantastic tracks that you have been through they can’t finish in glory… BOOOOM! “W.A.N.T” is the ultimate pinnacle of a growing curve of epic. The climax. And it has audio clips from two brilliant movies for different, yet closely related stories. I won’t spoil right now saying what is what and leave you to discover it by yourself. The first is from a movie is good but the book is way better. The second is from a movie that is also based in a book, but this time I prefer the movie to the book. On my side, one clue. Marlon Brando is involved.
To conclude, I need to thank Ghost Toast, because my life is better after having the pleasure of knowing this. It was a real pleasure to listen to this album and I’m looking forward to a concert by these guys.
- Bence Rózsavölgyi – guitar
- László Papp – drums
- János Stefán – bass
- János Pusker (- keyboards, cello)
4. Hunt of Life
6. Before Anything Happens