reviewed by Kaitlin Ruether
What do you do when you encounter a house with a ghost? If your first impulse is to write a series of 50s inspired grunge-tinged love songs, you’ll probably get on well with SEXGHOST, Fredericton’s primary ghost-love specialists and possibly the only band toting a sacrificial zucchini.
SEXGHOST//SEXHOAX is a collection of songs that boasts a strong sense of unity. The album opens with “PROLOGUE”, on which all the members provide vocals, which is mirrored in the many voices of the closer, “DEAD GIRL”. The title tracks form the middle of the record, and tend towards more melodic compositions: “SEX GHOST” features chiming resonant guitars that remind one of Echo and the Bunnymen’s brand of post-punk, while the bouncing organ of “SEX HOAX” is possibly the most hopeful melody on the album — a pleasant surprise from an organ line.
One of SEXGHOST’s strengths is the concerted, well, spirit of the band. The tracks feature rotating vocalists and each of the four musicians plays multiple instruments — swapping is a common sight at their live shows. The songs themselves cover a range of relationships with the ghost in question, from the love and loss Americana sound of “SHE SIFTED (THROUGH MY ARMS)” to the casual “imaginary friend with benefits” of “SHE FLOATED DOWN (THROUGH THE CEILING)”. If you haven’t guessed by now, SEXGHOST unify their tone with a strong sense of humour. Some of my favourite lyrics include “PROLOGUE”’s pondering, “Can a ghost have a walk of shame?” and the Madonna shout-out “ethereal girl […] living in an ethereal world” of “DEAD GIRL”.
I can’t say I’ve seen many bands that make music as thematic and ambiance driven as what’s found on SEXGHOST//SEXHOAX while retaining an ever-present sense of humour. For a collective driven by a certain amount of spiritual chaos, SEXGHOST is a band with balance, and this is a haunting you won’t want to miss.
Top Tracks: “SHE FLOATED DOWN (THROUGH THE CEILING)” ; “SEX GHOST”
Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good)