It's with the bands blessing that I post this to fill in the blanks for the faithful over the next few days... tip of the iceberg peeps, trust me.
Over a stripped down structure, killer baseline, a throwback disco beat, Floyd's picking pattern insert a big Thornley/Sumner chorus and you've got Ghosts. It's nearest rhythmic relative is Floyd's "Young Lust". Most of The Wall was in reaction/answer to the Disco revolution that was happening at the time; the driving beat that gripped pop music in the late 70's. It was completely anathema to rockers, but Floyd made it not only palatable, but kind of stamped the rock over the top of the whole scene. It is with this "ghost" that Big Wreck choses to dance. Ian's, respect for, and recognition of, Sting and the Police's echo of the same Floydian "ghosts", permeates the melody.
The subtlety throughout the track, from the delicate picking pattern that swells behind the verses, to the tight funk slide that kicks it off, shows a willingness to explore other flavors. Live, a little Floyd was sprinkled into the intro to Big Wreck's Ladylike over the years and now it's fair game for it's own tune.
Ian sings of longing for home, being bound by ghosts. As a musician carves out his own ground, among the influences that shape him, what does he call his own? Especially when they're drawn from ones that still reverberate today. It is a familiar Big Wreck theme, like Defined, from TPAG. It's a musical journey, but a personal one too. How do we escape the Ghosts of our DNA, or familial patterns we've inherited? Dust and light. Flesh and Spirit. Always a depth in the lyric that we expect from Ian.
As I said before, this is some different territory for Big Wreck. Not different process-wise, because it mines 70's prog for inspiration, like many BW classics have, but different because Big Wreck has never so boldly taken on disco/funk. Even if it comes though a Pink Floyd filter. And WOW what results! The spare sections of Beat and Bass set up Ian's sexy Roy Buchanan toned solos. The authenticity with which Chuck Keeping and Dave McMillan groove through this track belie their rock roots. You'd think they was funked out forever!
The huge chorus is forever burned in my mind, like it will be in yours. Melody rules on this album! The lines change in the last chorus as Ian is wont to do. And if my scars were tattoos, I could hide them in plain view… well he's doing it. The ride out is pure funk jam. Clean tone, sinewy lines, loose jam like Control and You Caught My Eye from Albatross with some tasty interplay.
Scars or influence; they're in plain view, and I for one, hope his Ghosts never let him go.