Posted by Sheamus Duggan
13. Jan, 2012
Until fairly recently, New War had been something of an enigma in the Melbourne music scene. Comprised of two-parts disbanded post-punks Bird Blobs and two-parts former Seattle outfit Shoplifting (whom I profess to having no knowledge of), the band first appeared a couple of years ago as The Whulge, before changing their name and deleting all evidence of their Myspace song demos.
New War have since developed a following organically, through tell-your-friends-about-it live performances. Their first release was issued late last year as 12” single ‘Ghostwalking’. The track has received support from UK taste makers The Quietus that may have helped land them the Deerhoof support slot at The HiFi earlier this week.
‘Ghostwalking’ reveals a single element of the band’s periodic table. The song is as haunting and destitute as its title indicates and Chris Pugmire’s vocal is that of a lost soul condemned to spend an eternity in a baron wasteland. A simple, repetitive bass line induces hypnosis upon the listener and the pulse of a rapidly beating single synth note suggests a pounding heart fleeing an unknown terror. Echoing percussion hints at dub and there are no guitars.
‘Ghostwalking’ doesn’t leave the impression of being a band’s first release. It showcases the sound of talented artists who have spent the last two years mastering their craft and are finally ready to show it to the rest of the world.
You can’t download ‘Ghostwalking’ anywhere as New War recently deleted their existing bandcamp site. Buy it from a record store (it comes with a HTRK remix as the b-side), stream it here and watch the video below.
New War’s debut album is due for release in March.