Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Shawn Biggs at Studio Paradiso, San Francisco, Calif.
If our memories serve us correctly, Allyson Baker was wearing a Pussy Galore tee-shirt during the session you're about to hear. Her bandmate, Erin McDermott, had a book in her satchel that she was going to be reading an excerpt from later that night, at an event, held in conjunction with the Noise Pop Festival that weekend, there in San Francisco and Oakland. The piece that she was going to read involved Dave Mustaine, when he was playing with Metallica, and an unfortunate choice of shoewear that earned him internal scoffs and derision. She practiced her delivery in the basement of the studio, over post- session beers, with the piece going over well with the partial crowd.
It felt somewhat - especially after having heard Dirty Ghosts perform - that we'd drifted back in time to when James Hetfield looked wonderfully demented and kinda hippie-like, Tower Records was doing incredible business all over the place, everyone wanted to make pilgrimages to Seattle to try and meet Eddie Vedder and acid washed jeans were okay apparel for some weddings. Baker's incredible presence and style makes us wish that we could go back to 1994, when Green Day was whipping clods of mud off the Lollapalooza stage and Hole's "Live Through This" was fresh out of the cellophane wrapper.
The group's debut full-length, "Metal Moon," is awash with the kinds of melodic and slightly snarly tones of later Hole material - when Courtney Love was singing about sparkly California and super models - only with the kind of crunchy arrangements that you'd recognize from that group's first two albums. There's a dark undertone to most Dirty Ghosts music, where you feel that there's mercury in the milk that you're slurping up out of your breakfast cereal bowl, mercury in the clouds and a good chance that the precipitation that's going to fall out of the ominous clouds in the west is going to be acidic.