SLINK MOSS EXPLOSION - FLOATING GHOST HOTEL
Floating Ghost Hotel by Slink Moss Explosion
Released 01/04/2022 on Hi-style Records - Nashville, Tennessee (www.histylerecords.com)
Reviewed 09/05/2022 by Brandon Anderson (www.rockabillyrarities.com)
Many years in the making, their new full-length record Floating Ghost Hotel includes freshly re-mastered favorites like the upbeat rockers “Honey Bee Bop” (which appears in the feature film Waitress) and “Pass It Around” as well as a handful of never-before-released songs recorded by Alex Hall at Sutton’s celebrated all-analog studio, Hi-Style Studios. But you’d be remiss to expect an easily classifiable record of straightforward rockabilly; the album’s twelve tracks include haunting ballads, blues boogies, and even a dash of post-punk and supernatural poetry. With Floating Ghost Hotel, Slink Moss Explosion has emerged from the shadows of legend and myth to divine with the rock ‘n roll gods and explode us into the future, one curious hip-shaker and spine-tingling howl at a time.
Slink Moss Explosion is: Slink G Moss as Mr Moss: vocals, drums and acoustic guitar on “Bad Bad Blues”. Jimmy Sutton as Mr Bones: bass, guitar, vocals and percussion. Joel Paterson as Mr X: guitars, lap Steel, and vocals. Alex Hall as Mr A: piano on "Ballad X”. Scott Ligon as Von Tork: sitar on “Space Cowboy Number One”
All songs written by Slink Moss ExplosionPublished by Blue Gargoyle Music (BMI). Except tracks 1, 2, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10 published by Samovar Groovathon (BMI). Tracks 1, 2, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10 recorded and mixed by Jay O'Rourke at Rax Trax Recording, Chicago, IL. Tracks 3 and 7 recorded and mixed by Alex Hall for Reliable Recorders at Hi-Style Studios, Chicago, IL. Track 4 recorded by Jay O'Rourke at Jay's Garage, Chicago, IL and mixed by Alex Hall at Hi-Style Studios, Chicago, IL. Track 11 recorded by Alex Hall at Long Division, Chicago, IL. Track 12 recorded and mixed by Jay O'Rourke at Jay's Garage, Chicago, IL
Track 1 - “Honey Bee Bop” This straight up rockabilly groover sounds like it was recorded in Nashville and that’s because it was. The boys in Slink Moss explosion get things started with a super clean track full of Scotty Moore flavored guitar licks and a rhythm track that sounds like a bumpy hayride feels. Great way to intro the album, it definitely has all of our attention and ready for more!
Track 2 - “Pass It Around” keeps things rocking with a bluesy backbeat and plenty of reverb drenched vocals to give “Pass It Around” that vintage sound that so many bands aim to capture. The Slink Moss Explosion does a great job of capturing that sound but applying it to current themes (the theme here is an obvious one, unless you’re some kind of square!)
Track 3 - “Beware Beware” is quickly becoming one of our favorite tunes off of Floating Ghost Hotel it features some fantastic twanged to the max guitar as well as a swamp rock rhythm that always makes us want to get out and shake a leg. Who knew that if you ad some maracas to rockabilly it gets groovy as hell?!
Track 4 - “Space Cowboy Number One” is one of the more garage rock influenced tracks on the album, almost sounding like a Cowboy Mouth meets the Beatles melding of styles that has great results. The sitar playing by Scott Ligon totally takes this song to that mid sixties transitional sound of 50s rock and 60s psychedelic sounds that ushered in the new wave of British acts in the later part of that decade.
Track 5 - “Bad Bad Blues” brings us back to a more country blues sound and another fantastic track filled with some fantastic steel playing by Joel paterson that sounds like it was beamed down from space. This is another one we are really digging with it’s super cool slowed down cow punk and a touch of Gene Autry sounds.
Track 6 - “Kool Kat” has a cool Roy Orbison vibe to it with smooth vocals and a backbeat that rides just below the surface alongside some fantastic guitar work to give this track a consistent but not overpowering rhythm that highlights Slink G Moss’ vocals but doesn’t overpower them. This is another great straight up rockabilly track from Slink and company.
Track 7 - “Let’s Explode” Goes back into garage rock territory with another song that wouldn’t have sounded out for place on the California airwaves of the 60s. This song has all of the innuendo and fuzzed out guitar licks that would make any mod happy. This is one of those tunes we always talk about that would have killed if it had been released during the era it pays tribute to. Nice job fellas!
Track 8 - “Loneliness Is Searchin’” If you lived near a juke joint back in the day these are the sounds that you wanted to hear come out of it; bass, drums, and guitar. This track follows that simple formula, and it makes us want to see Slink Moss Explosion live and really get a feel for the massive wall of rhythm they push, we love it!
Track 9 - “Magic of the Stone” Chills things out and has Slink tell us a tale shrouded in mystery. The tune is perfect for bringing the vibe back down before the album comes around the final corner to the finish line. Again, the band does a tremendous job highlighting Slink’s vocal performance.
Track 10 - “Flower Shop Blues Boogie” has a great groove venturing into a more modern sound than seen on previous tracks but still retains that classic blues rock/rockabilly vibe that slowly morphs into a full on Hasil Adkins style rhythm assault to close things out. We’d love to hear more of this “slap you over the head” sound experimented with in the future.
Track 11 - “Ballad X” is a fantastic instrumental number that shows the more sultry jazzy side of Slink Moss Explosions range as a band and some expert playing by all members involved. The recording has a perfect vintage sound that transports you to a smoky bar in the seedy section of town after dark. Hats off!
Track 12 - “The Doors of Mr. Bones” gives us more of the mysterious vibes the boys displayed on “Magic of the Stone”. This song is a perfect ender to this fantastic musical outing by Slink Moss Explosion and the band lays down a great Screamin’ Jay Hawkins vibe that is quite impressive, just slinking along until it fades off into the darkness.
If ripping guitar, rocking rhythm, and finger blistering baselines played down by an all-star cast of players are your thing then Floating Ghost Hotel definitely needs to be in your cart and ready to download! We love the straight forward, no-nonsense, punkabilly attitude that permeates the classic sounds of this record and are glad to see it hit stores just in time for summer. Keep an eye on these guys for sure, we will!
Band Bio: Conjuring the dynamic energy of 80s neo-rockabilly bands like The Shakin’ Pyramids, The Rockats, and The Stray Cats, the occult macabre of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, the avant-garde of early New Wave, and the outsider punk ethos of The Violent Femmes, Slink Moss Explosion’s spectral sounds will bring you a little closer to the otherworld. The origins of these neo-rockabilly mavericks can be traced to some 30-odd years ago in Hyde Park on Chicago’s Southside, when two young musicians took their rough-hewn love of underground rockabilly and polished it into a mystical diamond. Founded by Slink Moss (aka “Mr. Moss”) and veteran producer and musician Jimmy Sutton (aka “Mr. Bones”) of the JD McPherson Band, this sideband has grown into a venerable supergroup with the addition of ace guitarist Joel Paterson (“Mr. X”) and special guests Scott Ligon of NRBQ (“Von Tork”) and Alex Hall (“Mr. A”)