The Ghost Next Door: The Ghost Next Door

San Franciscans blend goth, metal, grunge and prog.

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It’s traditional for a new band to claim influence from an improbably huge musical spectrum, from Miles Davis to the Skatalites to Slipknot, before unleashing their disappointingly generic fare on the world. But this Californian quartet, led by former Skinlab man, guitarist and singer Gary Wendt, make a genuinely intriguing stab at blending a bunch of different styles.

They may be a metal band at heart, as showcased on Forever My Demon’s chugging, churning riffage and Lucifer-with-a-papercut vocals, but the jazzy guitar exploration of the outro hints at a thickening plot.

And so it proves in Dead Things’ channelling of STP-style misanthropic grunge, and the angular geek-rock guitar lines decorating it.

The odd time signatures of Fragile can also be accommodated, simply because they rock like speed-addled navvies throughout, and don’t forget the visceral sonic gut-punch that lies at the very heart of their sound./o:p