Portland's Hungry Ghost punches out crazy rhythms
New CDs released the week of Tuesday, July 31, include a rhythmically crafty, self-titled album by Portland's Hungry Ghost, featuring Olympia drummer Sara Lund; Seattle neo-soul singer Allen Stone's self-titled disc; Gloriana's "A Thousand Miles Left Behind"; and jazz alto saxophonist Miguel Zenon's beguiling "Rayuela."
Hungry Ghost, 'Hungry Ghost' (Self-released)
In the '90s, Sara Lund drummed for Olympia's brilliant, underrated Unwound. Her crazy, swinging rhythms gave the trio's post-punk pessimism a singular intensity. Now she's returned with Hungry Ghost, another three-piece punching way above its weight. The Portland band releases its self-titled debut Tuesday.
Cartwheeling through nine tracks in a half-hour, Hungry Ghost — which also features guitarist Andrew Price and bassist Lorca Wood; all three sing — embraces classic-rock heroics with Northwest punk gutsiness.
A-side standouts "Get Up" and "Graham Street Massacre" add a bluesy element to the punk proceedings, with white-hot guitar leads and rallying cries like, "When I say, 'You get up,' you get up!" delivered in dissonant harmonies akin to X's John Doe and Exene Cervenka.
Later tracks like "Alice," with a break evoking the calm before the storm of Black Sabbath's "War Pigs," prove Hungry Ghost equally skilled when holding back.
Hungry Ghost exists comfortably outside Unwound's shadow, but Lund's intrepid timekeeping is again the game-changer, a bonanza of taut, crafty beats that reinforce that she's one of the best drummers working, and that her bands are secrets too well-kept.
Charlie Zaillian, Special to The Seattle Times
Other new releases
Allen Stone, "Allen Stone" (Ato)
Gloriana, "A Thousand Miles Left Behind" (Emblem)
Miguel Zenon and Laurent Coq, "Rayuela" (Sunnyside)