Review of Ghosts of the West Coast EP by No:Carrier

No:Carrier just released an ambitious concept EP called 'Ghosts of the West Coast', composed of covers of hit songs by Left Coast vocalists. No:Carrier, which bills itself as an electro-noire pop duo, comes from San Francisco.

No:Carrier Ghosts of the West Coast EP

While none of the songs on 'Ghosts of the West Coast' even remotely could have been classified as electro-pop in their originial form, No:Carrier, by means of technology, has completely revamped the songs. And although in theory it might sound like a good idea, the actual implementation of the idea is exaggerated, sometimes quaint and more than a little absurd.  

The first track on the EP is 'Boys of Summer', performed by Audio Terrorist's vocalist, Kalib DuArte, who has a distinctive voice.  Unfortunately, his vocal is not suited to electro-noire and comes across as innocuously New Age-y, diluting the song to the point of being more appropriate to the soundtrack of a Pixar movie.

Melissa Harding provides the vocals on 'California' and, simply put, it is a vain attempt to outdo Belinda Carlisle.  Harding's voice is too sultry and leaves the song sounding like a James Bond theme. Beginning with a bubble-gum electro beat, it becomes dark and overly heavy with an unrelenting and secretive nuance.  

The intro on 'Room With a View' is reminiscent of Bon Jovi's 'Living On a Prayer', but followed by a psychedelic vibe that echoes unpleasantly along numerous axes.  Lauralee Brown is the vocalist and, while her effort is valiant, it's simply too surreal, like floating through a dream while dreaming of floating.  If the listener is unfamiliar with Tony Carey's original version, the song is almost unrecognisable.

'She Moved Through the Fair' is the EP's final track.  It is doubtful that any but the most confident vocalist would attempt this Irish tune made famous by Sinead O'Connor, but Cynthia Wechselberger actually pulls it off gloriously. Her delicate voice rides over the mystical music, bequeathing a confection of pure elegance.  And although Wechselberger's translation has a faster tempo than O'Connor's version, the pacing is acceptable.  

Unfortunately, with the exception of one track, 'Ghosts of the West Coast' falls flat.  Seemingly, three of the four songs don't lend themselves to electro-noire, which means a different selection of songs may have produced a different result.  


Randy Radic

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