People Noise

The inevitable appendix on show listings for People Noise are the words, in parentheses, ex-VHS or Beta. Well that's little surprise, considering those masters of dancey New Romanticism are pretty much the longest-running and most successful band out of Louisville, Kentucky, from which People Noise also hails. The latter's songwriter and singer, Zeke Buck, was one of VoB's founding members, but he split from the group after almost a decade and partnered with Matt Johnson on drums.

The rearrangement did Buck well. Rather than try his hand at more coked-up synth tunes, he went almost analog, looking to, say, the mid-Nineties instead of the mid-Eighties. Is it too soon for that? Not if the band's self-released full-length Ordinary Ghosts is an indication. It's crammed full of atmospheric guitar textures, floating in space enough to earn a shoegaze tag but then careening back to Earth with crunching choruses. Meanwhile Buck's voice intones reedy, eerie codeine hymns to the cosmos, ghosts, whatever is abstract and a little dark. If it's noise, it's beautiful noise.

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