The Holy Ghosts is Jack Sandison’s latest musical venture, alongside four other well-known faces of the Edinburgh music scene.
A riotous mix of rock and blues with just a twinge of country, they’ve been popping up at gigs across Scotland for the last few months. In that short time, the band have already gathered comparisons to a number of rock ‘n’ roll legends including The Rolling Stones and Chuck Berry.
Of course, those are big shoes to fill, but listening to their debut release Devil On Your Side EP, it is easy to see why those names have – deservedly – come up.
The EP is short but certainly sweet – three well-written tracks that storm along at quite a pace. Despite their clear 60s influences, there is a surprising modernity and freshness to The Holy Ghosts, combining the best of country and blues with steady rock riffs.
Opening track Ol’ Snake Hips is foot-stomping at its finest, with a superb bass line accompanying classic swinging rock ‘n’ roll chords. It’s enough to get you hooked straight away, and probably just enough to make you want to dance too. Subtle features such as the scattering of keyboards throughout really make this song stand out.
The title track Devil On Your Side is a bit of a contrast at first, and eases the listener in in a much gentler, acoustic style. This definitely allows Sandison’s vocals to shine through. By the chorus though, the music has definitely picked up intensity, and the country influence really shows in this number. However, it never shies away from the band’s rockier side, and there’s a particularly great guitar solo.
Final track Staring Down The Barrel is a fantastic tune. The song balances the old and new faultlessly and gives the impression that it would be an excellent live number. Each band member comes into their own and gives it their all, from the steady drum beats to the squealing harmonica solo. It’s guaranteed to leave you wanting more – hopefully coming soon, as the boys are currently working on their first full album in the studio.
The Devil On Your Side EP shows they have all the ingredients for a great rock ‘n’ roll album. Each band member has thrown themselves into the music, and together they have produced three tight songs that draw from the best of the classics and give them a contemporary twist.
Keep an eye and an ear out for more from The Holy Ghosts; their debut is full of promise, and expectations of great things for the future.