COOL GHOULS – ” The Way I Made You Cry “

Posted: March 28, 2021 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Cool Ghouls, the San Francisco-based band that once lived on house gigs and barbeques in Golden Gate Park, is going on their tenth year together and in lieu of this decennial celebration, they are releasing their fourth album, “At George’s Zoo”. They shared “The Way I Made You Cry,” the second single off this album. At George’s Zoo is set to be released on March 12th via Empty Cellar (and Melodic in the UK). The song has a bit of a retro Foxygen and The Lemon Twigs vibe. 

The band shared the album’s first single, “Helpless Circumstance,” last month, which set the tone of the rest of their upcoming album. The group aims to capture the romantic essence of the city, as well as the historical psychedelia that once dominated the music scene in San Francisco. “At George’s Zoo” will be a reminder of the before times when gigs took place in a friend’s living room rather than on stage or now—through a screen.

http://

Their third and previous album, Gord’s House, was released in 2017.

Cool Ghouls are a band fledged in San Francisco on house shows, minimum wage jobs, BBQ’s in Golden Gate Park and the romance of a city’s psychedelic history turns 10 this year. What better a decennial celebration than the release of their fourth album, At George’s Zoo!

How did this San Francisco’s fab four arrive at George’s Zoo? The teenage friendship of complimentary spirits Pat McDonald (Guitar/Vox) and Pat Thomas (Bass/Vox) serves as square one. The Patricks were munching on Eggo-waffle-sandwiches and downing warm Taaka in suburban Benicia years before McDonald would hear George Clinton address his fans as “Cool Ghouls”. The boys played their debut gig as Cool Ghouls at San Francisco’s legendary The Stud in 2011, but there’s no doubt the musical moment cementing the band’s trajectory was much earlier at the 18th birthday party for boy-wonder Ryan Wong (Guitar/Vox) – at the Wong household.

You might remember the Ghouls’ earliest days… McDonald’s hair hung luxuriously past his waist, Thomas dreamt of no longer having to crash on friends’ couches to call SF home and Wong looked forward to turning 21. Cool Ghouls’ Pete Best, Cody Voorhees, thrashed wildly – but briefly – on the drums and Alex Fleshman (Drums), who still claims he’s not really “a drummer”, turned out to be a really good drummer.

It’s been 2 years since the last time Cool Ghouls have even played. The STUD is gone, The Eagle Tavern is for sale and The Hemlock has been demolished for condos. 

Fortunately for us, the ghouls got an album in before it all went to shit, and they made it count. At George’s Zoo includes 15 of the 27 tunes they managed to eke out while simultaneously working through major life moves. It was a 5-month, all out, final sprint down the homestretch (to Ryan’s moving day) with affable engineer Robby Joseph, at his makeshift garage studio in the Outer Sunset (pictured on the cover). Instead of recording the entire album over a few consecutive days – like they’d done with Tim Cohen, Sonny Smith and Kelley Stoltz for the first three LPs – the band took it slow by working through a few songs each weekend after rehearsing them the week before. 

These guys have a real commitment to elevating as songwriters, musicians and ensemble players. It’s always been for the music with Cool Ghouls and this long-awaited self-produced outing is a track by track display of the ground they’ve covered and heights they can achieve. Their vocals and trademark harmonies are front and center and out-of-control-good. Ryan’s guitar solos are incredible. The horns by Danny Brown (sax) and Andrew Stephens (trumpet) hit in all the right places. Maestro, Henry Baker (Pat Thomas Band / Tino Drima), plays keys throughout. 

The song writing, harmony and playing are nothing if not solid. The lyrics are keen. Robby’s recording and mixing sound great start to finish and even better after mastering by Mikey Young. It’s a triumphant addition to their catalogue. Recommended for Stooges and Beach Boys fans alike. Listen and see!

Empty Cellar Records and Melodic Records worldwide.
 
releases March 12, 2021
Comments
  1. I hadn’t heard anything from Cool Ghouls, but just clicked on the first track I could find you youtube – “Animal Races”, I hear a lot of Blur, Suede and Indie 90s darling bands in there, some heavily Arthur Lee in Love drenched guitar work. They are actually great…and they are from my beloved SF! Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.