Mudboy – Hungry Ghosts! These Songs are Doors

Hungry Ghosts! These Songs are Doors

Electronic artist Mudboy sure is a hard one to get any information on. After searching various sites, search engines and more on the web, I was hard-pressed to find anything on this multi-faceted artist. With music as manic, unorthodox and unusual as Mudboy’s, I figured he’d have some flashy site with ethereal pictures and colors — at least something to match the hammering music out of Hungry Ghosts! These Songs are Doors.

Beginning with a tribal pounding, backdropped with almost invincible chants of spectral proportion, the title track is filled with loud, striking, almost alarm-like stabs of synthesizer flashes. It makes up one curious effort—that’s for sure—and one that ends with howling wolves and tinkling bells.

The rest is pretty much standard affair from Mudboy. “The Last Song” is not the last song on the album but it stands out because of its harsh and dissonant chords conveyed by an organ-like switch on the keyboard. Sometimes — although you can tell it’s not being played on an actual organ — it seems that the effect he is going for is a broken pedal where one note is unintentionally held over and it magnifies this piercing, wavering tone that only adds to the instrumental piece’s overall eerie feel. This happens a lot throughout the album, and thus appropriately matches the album’s title.

“The Quiet Song” is a shorter affair that also relies on a lot of the same facets as the aforementioned, a keyboard. Here, the effect is to re-create an old tattered piano, one that is only good for clunking away on. It backfires because it’s lifeless, repetitive and ultimately, forgettable and to top it off, it’s poorly sequenced into “Shockwave!” and it’s noisy redundancy.

It’s hard to find much to truly enjoy about this album because a lot of it sounds out of place. A long, drawn-out affair like “Swamp Things” belongs on the soundtrack to some old horror movie instead of as the main piece on an album; it takes a long time to get anywhere and the final fruition doesn’t pay off. And then you have something thunderous in “Wwhirlpool, Wwindow Liight Nightt.” Sure, this’d be great as the music to my Halloween haunted house where I dress up as some tragic clown but it just isn’t appealing on an album.

In resolution, I am sure there are people out there who could really get into Hungry Ghosts! These Songs are Doors. If you’re someone who loves dissecting every chord change and mood swing on songs that move as minimally as these, then this will be right up your alley. But that is the challenge when making this kind of music, it needs to be really good to catch the attention of all music fans, and sadly Mudboy’s latest effort isn’t.