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  • Writer's pictureDerek Howie

THE GHOST TAPE | When Matches Fail - 2021 | EP REVIEW

By Derek Howie

I've often heard folks say that 'good things come in threes'. From the Latin' Omne trium perfectum' or 'the rule of three,' a principle that things that come as a trio are innately more pleasing and successful than all other groupings.

'When Matches Fail' is the new 3-song release from The Ghost Tape. What is more unusual is that this E.P. is the first in a trilogy of releases that will make up its debut album. The duo (clearly good things can come in twos) of Jeff Bruce and Chris Simpson is an Alternative Rock outfit from Aberdeen, Scotland. They have been active for several years, with a string of intense live performances. Local gig-goers once had them as their own little secret, but not anymore!

Jeff Bruce and Chris Simpson photographed by George Mackie in Aberdeen, Scotland

The title track 'When Matches Fail' opens with a glimpse of atmospheric, deep, and rich synth before barrelling in with Guitar & Vocals from Chris, with Jeff on Drums. They are accompanied by a delicate, subtle rumble of a growling sub-bass. This heady fusion of Electronica and Rock runs on into 'Rules Riot,' a mellow, advisory piece of self-protection. Punk's weighty stimulus, married to the decades of preceding influences, is clear on the song that ends this triple-header, 'Always'. I like the line, 'Forever forward into the unknown', this might sum-up the group's speculation on the advent of this and subsequent releases that in part will make up the full album. This unveiling blend shows a progressive, forward-thinking, modern approach to the Rock sub-genre and one that I simply adore.


Interview with The Ghost Tape

by Derek Howie

D: The Ghost Tape is a great band name; can you elaborate on its origins?

TGT: The name came from an At The Drive tune, we thought it sounded cool, and they are a great band, so why not.

D: I’m drawn towards the unusual in music and 2-piece Rock bands are certainly that. Do you find it limiting or do you relish the fact that there aren’t ‘too many cooks’ to spoil your broth?

TGT: Well, we have both played in bands with more members, but this give us an opportunity to keep it simple with communication and general ideas, so definitely less is more.

D: Being locked away is a new normal for most of us, but bands have been doing this forever. Has the current situation majorly changed how you practice or record your material?

TGT: No, we bounce ideas to each other online anyway, so not real problems with the creative process, but nothing beats being in a room together to flesh the ideas out and seeing the songs come together, but we do miss practice and playing live.

D: I am loving your idea of releasing your debut album in a trio of installments. Where did this idea spring from, and why?

TGT: This came about due to budget really, the cost of mixing and mastering 11 tracks was quite expensive so we decided to spread it out over the year, obviously the chance to play live is minimal at the moment, so the timing was right to do it this way.

D: I think fans of brand-new music, like myself, have got it so good right now with the ease to access a huge amount of fresh material largely via the Internet. How much of a challenge is it for you guys to try and cover as many bases/ multiple platforms as possible?

TGT: Again, we are always learning about the various platforms for hosting music, but the times we live in make it essential to embrace it, we are available to find in all the main ones, so it’s no real problem for us.

D: Thanks guys for submitting your music and doing this interview for us at The Vinyl Hole, it’s been a great incite.

TGT: It’s been a pleasure to speak to a true new music fan, and we are glad you like the music we make, hopefully we shall see you at a Ghost Tape show soon.

The Ghost Tape ‘When Matches Fail' is available to buy from Bandcamp.

You can follow them on

Facebook: The Ghost Tape

Instagram: The Ghost Tape

Youtube: The Ghost Tape


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