On their first official release in nearly ten years, The Carnage Queen finds Grandpa's Ghost pushing the boundaries of their music ever further, from hypnotic space-rock and extended guitar work-outs to beautiful acoustic ballads.
Opening with an eerie, fractured re-interpretation of John Hiatt’s “Learning How to Love You,” punctuated by stabs of Beefheart-esque slide guitar, The Carnage Queen showcases the group’s deeply fried psychedelic roots-rock sound with some of their most immediate and accessible songs.
Joined by special guest Tim Garrigan (Dazzling Killmen, You Fantastic!), the new double LP captures the band’s duality in essence—its back-porch acid folk on one hand, its experimental, discordant rock explorations on the other.
The Carnage Queen serves up plenty of those free-form moments: “I Am a Specimen” is a thrilling proto-kraut-pop song that careens into a furious, feedback-soaked freak-out; but there’s beauty too. “Dandelions in My Mind”, a stream-of-consciousness-tour-de-force, stands as one of the band’s most powerful musical statements. Put simply, the new album is Grandpa’s Ghost at its singular, inspired best.
"Grandpa’s Ghost ground their hypnotic country rock deeper into psychedelia than anyone short of Neil Young & Crazy Horse" - Joe Carducci
"Founding members Ben Hanna and Bill Emerson are joined by longtime drummer Jack Petracek and guest guitarist Tim Garrigan (late of stress-metal pioneers Dazzling Killmen), leveraging a sound that approximates a sideways take on Neil Young & Crazy Horse by way of Silkworm, or Wilco meets Shellac, maybe Mark Kozelek via Lungfish. They drive it hard; even the acoustic tracks feel like more fingernail lifters than fingerpickers. No bass player means no tether, so these guys get pretty far out there on the longer tracks...everyone looking for a new record with some teeth embedded in it and some clawmarks on the outside, line up here...Recommended" - Doug Mosurock, Still Single
"Grandpa's Ghost play expansive de/reconstructed roots music for the 21st century with unpredictable, non-obvious songcraft...this would've found a great home on SST in 1985 or Drag City in 1998, but since I'm always on the lookout for great recordings made in the here and now - well, this is one of them" - Dave Lang, Lexicon Devil