Thursday, August 18, 2016

Ghostland Observatory at Webster Hall's Grand Ballroom

 Little is known about the duo called Ghostland Observatory from Austin, Texas. Born in San Saba, Texas, vocalist/guitarist Aaron Behrens was involved with local bands Dismount and Waking Helix. In the latter band, he performed with synthesizer player/percussionist Thomas Turner of Pecos, Texas. The two broke off in 2005 to work on a project which became Ghostland Observatory. The duo gained a following but went into hiatus after its fourth album, Codename: Rondo, in 2010.

It seems like every band that ever existed for a minute is back together and performing in larger venues than in the band's original period. Ghostland Observatory followed suit, touring without a new album and headlining tonight at Webster Hall's Grand Ballroom. The performance demonstrated the uniqueness of the band: Behrens seemed to be the soulful classic rocker, while Turner seemed to be caught in synth pop. Rather than heaping layers of sound, the music was kept raw and somewhat primitive by modern production standards. The songs were based on simple riffs, like T. Rex embraced Iggy Pop, but with electro rhythms and lots of laser lights. Not fully a hard rock band and not quite a rave band, Ghostland Observatory's music was an unblended experiment into electro blues-rock. Behrens' shouted more than he sang, and his stinging guitar work was perhaps the best part of the performance. Ghostland Observatory was a curious act.

Visit Ghostland Observatory at www.ghostlandobservatory.com.