The Tupolev Ghost

Kev Eddy 07/03/2008

The Tupolev Ghost are a band who aren't afraid to wear their influences on their sleeves. Every promotional item for this gig seems to proudly declare love for Shellac, Fugazi and the Dischord stable.

And, from the very beginning of their set, their particularly earnest brand of post-hardcore clearly displays the debt the Tupolev Ghost owes to those mentors. Down-tuned guitars, staccato rhythms and twin vocalists only add to the effect. Even so, just because you try to sound like the bands you admire does not necessarily good music make: for the first half of the gig, there are too many points where the band veer closer to the less-accomplished At The Drive-In spin-off band, Sparta, than the Mackaye/Albini mobs - and not in a good way.

However, about halfway through, things start to get interesting. A bassline ripped almost directly from 'My Black Ass' starts to mutate, and grow, and becomes something far more. The following song, while bringing back the Sparta fears, breaks down into a fearsome instrumental outro. Then, with their sixth and final song, they really pull it out of the bag. It's at the last minute that the Ghost find their voice - and that voice is visceral and brutal.

Yes, this band has flaws. Yes, they're still a little too beholden to their influences. Yes, they sound like Sparta on occasion. But most of that is because the Tupolev Ghost is a band still in its infancy. If the Tupolev Ghost fulfills the promise they currently hold, you could be looking at the leaders of the next wave of hardcore punk.