San Francisco's hills still seem ripe for the plucking, with no end in sight to the wealth of bands that spring up amongst the nooks and neighborhoods of its cloud-shrouded bay. Cool Ghouls seem to take a mainline to the city's heritage and the city's current wave and knock the mixture for a whirl with a splash of three part harmonies and some damn fine songs at the heart of their eponymous new record. Its no surprise that Empty Cellar has Tim Cohen throw some words of praise in the band's bio as they seem to share Fresh & Onlys sense of reverence for influences with an ability to consume and craft them into that kind of tip-of-the-tongue feeling that makes them instantly relatable. This one takes a tour through more than a few stops we've touched on in the re-released column in the past few years, roping some of the 60's finest underground miscreants into their quiver of touchstones, but I'll be damned if there isn't as much chance that there's a Dead fan among the Ghouls' ranks as a Count Five or Standells fan laying down some burnt sunburst soul on this one. What's it all mean? It means that Cool Ghouls have shot a West Coast classic out of the past and onto your turntable. They've time-traveled backward and forward to make a fine mash that yelps, jangles and throws down hib-toned and hip boned swagger in equal measure. As Cohen mentions, call it retro at your own peril because to do so is to discount the quality of the record the band has crafted together with a sly precision that dances.
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