Two years ago, I was presented with an album that was as heavy as it was groovy, unforgiving as it was entrancing, and had as much bass than what anyone could ever ask for. The Midnight Ghost Train gave me one of my favorite records of that year with “Cold Was the Ground”, and I’ve been eagerly awaiting this new record ever since its announcement. Yet, I still went into “Cypress Ave.” trying to remain “professional” to look at the album with a critical mindset. That being said . . . these guys have flipped the script in a way no one could’ve fucking seen coming and it fucking works spectacularly!
With the last two pieces put out by The Midnight Ghost Train being almost complete opposites of each other stylistically with one being a real slow burner and the other cranking the speed up along with the bass, it made me wonder what direction these men from Kansas would pull with “Cypress Ave.”. The answer turned out to be this beautiful style that’s a masterful mesh of blues, funk, gritty rock, and sludge to create this experience that’s a multi-layered 10-track album that’s no less than an absolute treat. It’s a much more friendly sound than what was made with “Cold Was the Ground” and I couldn’t be happier that The Midnight Ghost Train made the transition with utmost style and grace. The whole of “Cypress Ave.” is a chill, groovy record that has the style and mindset of blues, the passion of rock, the flair that comes from the southern sound, and the vocals that bring out just the right amount of sludge that really helps set the music apart from the rest of the crowd. And it’s tracks like “Break My Love” and “Lemon Trees” that really shows the versatility that The Midnight Ghost Train displayed with this record and they’re no less than wholly infectious. Once you get hooked in by the funking bass and groovy drums there’s no going back. Then if that doesn’t catch your attention then just lock your sights on “The Boogie Down” and see how outside of the box The Midnight Ghost Train thought with “Cypress Ave.”. I’ve never had an album be able to so accurately depict the stories that happen within a city so perfectly. Night walks lit only by street light, fruity-fresh funk that’s a real slice from the good side of life, and evocative songs that really bring the emotions that many try to run from. Those are only a few of the scenes that The Midnight Ghost Train brings forth with “Cypress Ave.” . . . so thought provoking while still being absolute fun; a rare combination in such stunning quality.
I do my best to convey that I don’t let my love for bands and previous albums to get in my way whenever the same group puts out another piece, yet there’s no denying the sheer entertainment that’s brought to the table with “Cypress Ave.”! The Midnight Ghost Train has pulled off another astonishing record for the second time in a row, and if any of their albums are going to show the true genius behind this group and get them the following that they’ve earned . . . then this is that exact piece.
“Cypress Ave.” releases on July 28th via Napalm Records!
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