Friday, March 3, 2023

Friday Freebie: Walter Sickert & The Army of Broken Toys - Ghost Parade

There's only one thing that I enjoy about March, and it's that every year Walter Sickert & The Army of Broken Toys participate in the February RPM Challenge and write, record, and produce a new album! Every year their submissions get weirder and somehow better than the ones before. 2023 has given us Ghost Parade. The title track is quickly becoming a favorite, and I can see it becoming a beloved live show staple and ending up on many Halloween playlists, with it's spooky vibe that reminds me a lot of classic cartoon music. Immediately following that is "MEET ME ON THE MOON," a ballad which sounds like Walter Sickert is shooting for the Adult Contemporary charts or a Grey's Anatomy needle drop... but through their own odd filter. I always thought 2020's RPM Challenge album THE CUTTING HORSE would be the Toys' strangest release, but what makes Ghost Parade so intriguing is how almost mainstream it ends up being. "KEEP MY HEAD" is a gothic doo wop/soul track, but about keeping Sickert's head under your bed. "ALVE ON TV" sounds like a cross between Pet Shop Boys and John Carpenter. "COME TO THE DAWN" may be the most traditional Army of Toys song on the album (aka a mix between rock, folk, metal, grunge, cabaret, etc.) If you've ever wanted to hear a slightly more organic Aphex Twin release a banger, "PUMP" is going to be for you.

How the songs were written and recorded also makes the project more interesting. On the Bandcamp page for the album, the band says:

"The songs were created with stream-of-consciousness and improvisational one-take recordings then mutated in the WIREFOREST mind-grapes of composer/band leader Walter Alice Sickert."

You can listen to "GHOST PARADE" below. The album can be downloaded for the "name your price" option over at Bandcamp. If you do choose the free option, be sure to give Walter Sickert & The Army of Broken Toys a follow on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram.

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