Album Review: The Wraith – Gloom Ballet

LA post-punk quartet The Wraith deliver a dark treat on Gloom Ballet…

Album Review: The Wraith – Gloom Ballet
James MacKinnon

For every starry-eyed dreamer drawn to Los Angeles in search of glory like a moth to a flame, there are outsiders who cement themselves within its shadowy underbelly, and do their business while the City Of Angels sleeps. Guitarist Kaz Alvis and ghoulish singer Davey Bales are two such wandering souls.

They forged The Wraith (one imagines with an occult ritual) in 2016, in order to make dark post-punk that channels the vampiric pop of Killing Joke and early T.S.O.L.. Yet their debut LP is less a gentle dance, as Gloom Ballet’s title might suggest, and more a frantic collection of spine-rattling bass grooves and guitars as sharp as switchblades.

Prevail, for instance, surges forward with life-or-death urgency as Davey intones, ‘I hear them calling after me / They keep screaming me to sleep.’ Even the glimmering synths of I Expire feel haunted, as if someone were walking over your grave, all making this a devilishly dark treat.

Verdict: 4/5

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