Ghosts Of Progress: Exchange Your Problems For Dope and Whisky

~ Friday, 15 April 2011
Exchange Your Problems For Dope and Whisky is the debut album from Montrose’s very own garage rock duo Ghosts of Progress. It’s a rocking punk blues, full of raw energy from Lew Palgrave, on guitar, vocals, ‘busker styled drums’ and Callum Christie on guitar. Kind of one man band, plus his pal.

The limited drum sound makes it musically close to White Strips but with a kind of Alex Harvey meets The View snarling blues vocal and a guitar sound close to Morphine. It’s actually good and full of tales of hedonism about birds, booze and drugs, enlightened but of course since it’s the garage punk blues of eh…the Montrose Delta, it’s all just irony. On Bitch in Heat, we open with all guns blazing and Offshore Syndrome is among the decent tracks we could mention. Track 3 and 7 are also stand out tracks but you’ll have to buy it to see what they’re called, what with the boys being ironic, not one for the feminists.

Lew Palgrave is pretty much a busker who plays ‘busking style drums’ with a foot pedal, by the fifth or six song you’re wishing he’d form a band and bring a new dimension to the band’s sound. That said, it’s actually a good collection of songs and works well enough but the overriding feeling is that Ghosts of Progress are more a visual experience and something feels lost capturing it in the studio.

They play live all the time, in fact are probably playing a pub or a record store right now as we speak. Personally, I enjoyed this album, particularly the dark sardonic lyrical content and the great guitar work. The Black Keys it isn’t. Thankfully.

[][][][] (4/5)

Review by Charlie Brown