We Are Not Ghosts is the musical alter-ego of Alonso Melgar, otherwise known for his contributions to art house cinema with Calgary’s The Fifth Reel, as well as his contributions to the pages of this magazine. Fittingly, this debut EP feels cinematic. The tunes are mainly instrumentals, with eerie vox populi spoken word that sounds like it could be dialogue from a David Lynch film (one of the tracks is named “Audrey Horne,” after the young Twin Peaks temptress).
The songs evoke feelings of anxiety and dread, which erupt into moments of pure post-rock cathartic bliss. At times unsettling and angular, the guitar lines also play around with delay effects and feedback noises. The spoken word and screams perfectly complement the slight feeling of unease prevalent throughout, helping to set up the payoff of the cathartic breakdowns. “Chase B.C.” is the best and most dynamic example — it’s an eight-minute-long slow burner that kicks into a prog-rock riff around the five-minute mark, ultimately fading out with distant sounding screams provided by Lauchlin Toms.
As a debut album, this self-titled EP is short but solid. The music, spoken word and screaming mesh well together and offer an interesting take on the post-rock genre (or would this be post-post rock?). For a future full album, We Are Not Ghosts would do well to incorporate some other ways of adding dynamics, but as a three-song EP the technique stays fresh and works. Do yourself a favour and pick this one up for free on Bandcamp.
By Dylan S. Keating