Long Beach, California-based instrumental outfit The Ghosts of Searchlight introduces the music video, “Cauterizing Asphalt,” a track lifted from their upcoming full-length album, Sprawl, slated to drop November 19.
Talking about the album, guitarist Brian Horn shares, “‘Sprawl’ was a chance for us to take a step forward by stepping back. A chance to slow down, take our time with the music and allow moments to breathe.”
He goes on to add, “With ‘Sprawl,’ we wanted to expand the Ghosts sound and branch into unexplored territory: a 4-track, some mandolin, strings, even a seven-year-old beatboxing. We’re usually a three-piece capturing live energy but this one was all about layering the sounds that either made up life around us at the time or haunted our dreams.”
The Ghosts of Searchlight’s sound fuses hard-hitting surf rock with post-rock juxtapositions, resulting in unique music, at once raw yet smooth. It’s a sound reflecting Brian Horn’s milieus – Las Vegas and SoCal. While growing up in Vegas, he played in punk and ska bands. In 1995, he formed The Ovalteens, who played ska melded with surf music. Eventually, The Ovalteens dissolved, and Brian went on to other bands while in college.
Formed in 2006, The Ghosts of Searchlight borrowed their name from a small silver mining town in the Mojave. In 2011, they released These are…The Ghosts of Searchlight, followed by 2016’s Here Lie…The Ghosts of Searchlight.
The band then went on indefinite hiatus. 2020 saw the band rise from the dead in Brian Horn’s home studio, with Ben Kaplan on drums, supporting guitars and bass.
“Cauterizing Asphalt” open on a smarmy organ from a B-horror flick and then segues into a thrumming surf-rock flavored guitars accompanied by a finessed bassline and tight percussion. Layers of surging guitars, interrupted by a bass-filled breakdown, shift the harmonic flow to potent scorching guitars.
Simultaneously brimming with retro surf-rock savors and hefty post-rock tints, “Cauterizing Asphalt” smacks of riding a skyscraper-sized wave at Praia do Norte in Nazaré.