Somojo Magazine

Black Casino and the Ghost

Black Casino and the Ghost - Some Dogs Think Their Name Is No

There’s a lot of good music in the universe; getting through it would be a full time job but Black Casino and the Ghost are one of those bands you should make a little time for.  Go on, clear the schedule – I’m hopeful you won’t regret it.

Based in London, Black Casino and the Ghost are here with their LP Some Dogs Think Their Name Is No.  Black Casino and the Ghost sound slinky, sexy and seductive.  On top this you can also add imaginative and unique.  This set of adjectives is confirmed by the opener Boogeyman.  Robust bass sinks through your skull as drums and guitar add an edge of alluring darkness to proceedings.  This ear locking combination is completed with enthralling vocals that add an additional measure of seductiveness.   They recount an … interesting relationship between the tracks’ hero and the Boogeyman.  Boogeyman sounds like the song a band played in the club scene of a vampire flick; and I mean that in all the best ways.

This sound is continued by other tracks such as Johnny Boy with it’s determined energy and big sounding vocal, and Hoboland with it pulsing bass.  These tracks form only one expression of Black Casino and the Ghost’s musical intent.  Amongst the other sounds created by the band is an entirely more relaxed element.  Son of the Dust shows Black Casino and the Ghost break out a curious but captivating sound.  Warm latin laced guitar works with moments of piano to underlay a calm sound as the nature of Son of the Dust allows Elisa Zoot’s vocal range to shine.  Cello, violin, viola and even a creaking door lend Son of the Dust an organic and effortless crescendo as the lyrics depict a good Christian son asking a few big questions.  Whilst continuing the curious sound of Son of the Dust, We’ve Seen Nothing sits near the end of the album as short instrumental interlude with it’s spell binding sonic swirls and piano.  It highlights the talent and vision of the band.  Beyond this however it shows Black Casino and the Ghost’s ability to maintain their identity across a gently shifting sea of soundscapes.

Black Casino and the Ghost cover a multitude of moments.  If It Doesn’t Hurt and Ballad of the Ghost convey the emotive quality of Elisa Zoot’s vocals while the undeniably jaunty and chirpy Connect the Dots has a critical tone and joyfully chaotic journey to it’s end. Wolf is Howling turns the tables again as piano and drums drive a powerful track forward as it builds to a haunting chorus and a big vocal finish.  Following directly on is Been a Bad Woman, a personal standout.  A track perfect for a film noir, Been a Bad Woman opens with a dark and beguiling bass line, building to a big chorus powered by intelligent drums and climatic guitar.  The lyrics see a woman confessing to her doctor almost in desperation.   A moment of lightness grips the track before the darkness creeps back and Been a Bad Woman reaches a big finish.

For all of Some Dogs Think Their Name is No’s content, it ends on a simple, honest and almost innocent yet moving moment.  I Like You ‘Cause You’re Free grows from gentle beginnings to a spirited tempo as the lyrics repeat ‘tell me how you feel or don’t even bother’ before the sombre introductory piano line returns to wordlessly repeat the opening sentiment ‘I like you ‘cause your free’.

An exploration of sound and character, Black Casino and the Ghost have created something moving, diverse and intelligent.  That slinky, sexy and seductive sound is tempered with moments of gentleness and depth but Black Casino and the Ghost always keep their identity.  Put on your chunkiest headphones, get comfy and listen!

David Horn

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