Classic, Acid, Psychedelic, Fusion and Progressive rock sophistication with none of the pretentiousness that often steals the souls of these genres. “Ghosts on Television”, the second album by Bride Of Chaotica, is an adventure of purist craftsmanship. The magic is in the playing and the production, every tiny detail comes with its own profound meaning, and just when you’re amazed at how these little things alone are so satisfying, a beautiful unexpected guitar melody comes flooding in. The subject matter, covering the meaning of awe, life, beauty, love and sorrow, is all presented in a very down-to-earth, personal way we all experience but generally don’t know how to express. This is instrumental music played by a rock trio of journeymen formed during 2008, and based in Saint Petersburg, FL.
If you’ve come to this album expecting transcendental or groundbreaking pieces of instrumental music, you’re banging on the wrong door. Bride Of Chaotica stick to the dominant core values of their chosen genres. They’re honest artisans of their craft. They don’t rework, modify and revamp Psychedelic music’s tradition and idiom, they faithfully serve and represent it.
So when you encounter the opening track – a cover of “California Dreaming” – you will not be met by some hallucinatory modernistic arrangement trying to prove the crackpot ingenious of its interpreters, instead you will embrace a song you already know and love just as it is, represented soberly by three caring musicians.
The same applies to the closing track, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”. Bride Of Chaotica don’t try and outdo the original version with attention-drawing embellishments or zestful enhancements, they just want you to bathe in brilliance of the song’s original authenticity. And that’s exactly what they execute.
In between there are another 12 tunes, efficiently written, arranged and played. At the same time, the songs are highly melodic, harmonically dense, catchy and extremely listenable, turning them into a part of a rock flavored oeuvre that can appeal to listeners not used to the complexities of some music. And finally, the texture of the sound and the atmosphere of the music strongly reminds you of cinematic imagery.
Bassist Robert “Red” Redmond, drummer Tim Tuthill and guitarist/arranger Bill Bechtel, create a fusion between art, musicianship, and rock sensibility. If the Bride Of Chaotica were not the craftsmen they are, “Ghosts on Television” would simply be a collection of 14 beautifully written songs. Instead it’s a lot more.
From the chiming guitars of “The Lathe of Heaven”, and “Tramerei”, to the rolling drums and bass on “Cleveland Kind of Way”, as well as the jazz- fusion flavors on “Melancholly Girl” and “The Night of the Living Swing Zombies”, there is not one second on this album that does not pack layers of sound.
Every guitar strum has with it an echoing drum, and a sustained pull on a bass string, and a whole lot more to support it, including a horn section. It is so packed with sounds that even after many listens, each play makes you listen again, as you realize how much is there that you hadn’t caught before, from only three guys.
Theatrical, epic, and playful in sound, “Ghosts on Television” manages to accomplish a rare feat for such a wide-ranging musical composition: its psychedelic without being too trippy, its epic without sounding pretentious, and it’s sweet and accessible without sounding insincere or predictable, managing to keep the listener’s attention throughout the album. Nothing less than we’d expect from musicians who have reached full musical and stylistic maturity.