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When a heavy band from New England A) does not call Boston home and B) puts out a good record, the burden is on us stubborn, snowbound Yankees to shout it from the peaks of the White Mountains and the valleys of the Connecticut River. So it is with Vermont’s Ghastly Sound, a guitar-less trio mining influence from both noisy, pop-adjacent Nineties alternative favorites (Quicksand, Helmet, Deftones) and more contemporary sludgy rock (Torche, Red Fang) to create something fresh. The result is a powerful and unique take on what a rock band can be in 2017, and that alone is something to be excited about. The songs themselves are immediate earworms, all big hooks and soaring vocals, with a surprising amount of layers given Ghastly Sound’s stripped-down approach.

The first video from their self-titled debut EP is for “Cuttlefish”, a track where Ghastly Sound scale back the bouncing riffs and intensity to explore ‘heavy’ in both a musical and emotional sense. The band gathers around a large bonfire, a ubiquitous sight if you want to party outside here in the cold white North. Singer Tyler Gurwicz is comfortable and convincing as a frontman, conveying the heft of his words with earnestness in brief flashes of color and flames. It’s still a wonder to behold bassist TJ Maynard unpack all that melody and fullness from just four strings, but it’s the real deal; so is this band.

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Ghastly Sound is out on March 10 via Magnetic Eye. Pre order it here. Follow Ghastly Sound on Facebook.

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