My Favorite Bands: Ghost Power!!! Is Wenatchee’s Star Of The Bar

I have a lot of favorite bands. Like … so many that you might think the word “favorite” has lost any meaning. It’s just because music is so good, you guys. And depending on how I feel or what circumstance I’m in, different bands may be my favorite at any given time. That’s why I decided to start a series at hearingade devoted to my (and my writers’) favorite bands.

If you know me personally, or keep up with me on the Internet, it will come as no surprise to you that my very favorite band, unquestionably, is Led Zeppelin. Electric Light Orchestra runs a close second. From there, anything goes. So what band should I write about for the series introduction? I thought my best move would to be to look no further than the valley in Washington State that I’ve called home for the past 14 years. Because, folks, right here in Wenatchee reigns Ghost Power!!!, one of the greatest rock ’n’ roll duos this side of the Black Keys.

On occasion, friends of mine have heard me say, “If Ghost Power!!! ever left Wenatchee, I’d have no reason left to stay here.” This, my friends, is no exaggeration. Okay … maybe it’s a little bit of an exaggeration. But what is not an exaggeration is that Ghost Power!!! makes the best music this little mountain town has ever had the privilege of calling its own.

If you’re lucky enough to catch a live performance, you’ll love them even more. “Loud” is a priority, as evidenced by the lovely stack of amps they put on display. Lead singer/guitarist/bassist Andrew Houck piles on the stage antics, and will find a way to utilize most objects/furniture in the barroom to his advantage, climbing over tables, chairs, booths, what have you. And yes, he will even leap upon drummer Mitch Wixom’s kit from time to time. These boys are monsters behind their respective instruments and will not hesitate to blow out your eardrums if at all possible.

But with great noise comes great musicality. Ghost Power!!! plays garage rock of the highest order, like a surge of fuel from the Stooges themselves. The band released its debut album, “The Basement,” in 2010, followed closely by 2011’s “Human Decay,” recorded at Wenatchee’s hard rock hub, Snatchee Records. Raymond Malstead runs the outfit, which is also responsible for the town’s Rotting Apple Zine (an inspired creation, if I do say so myself; having been a teen in the ’90s, I reserve a special place in my heart for this renegade form of publishing).

Listening to Ghost Power!!!’s music takes me back to a time of $5 shows at Redmond’s Old Fire House teen center, when we thrived on punk rock philosophies and cheap beers stolen from Dad’s garage. The band is like Jawbreaker circa “Unfun,” but less melodic; like Jayhawker (Excursion Records) without the hella harsh vocals; like the rawest form of Nirvana reincarnate.

Most of all, however, Ghost Power!!! is like Ghost Power!!! — a force above duplication, and one way too strong to be confined to a small town where they’ll never be heard. Sometimes I can’t help but dwell mournfully about all the minds in the world left unblown by this sonic dynamite.

That picture is a shadow of me holding a stuffed hippo and wearing a sombrero.

The band recently wrapped up recording its next album, which will become available extremely soon (or so I hope). And if I have anything to do with it, the album title will be “Boners,” because this record will most certainly give you a raging ear-boner. They didn’t sound too enthused about the idea, so maybe don’t bank on being able to pull it up successfully with “Ghost+Power+Boners” in a Google search. I did make a mock album cover anyhow, as a placeholder until the album actually does come to term. Which will be extremely soon, right guys!?

Last week, the band premiered its documentary, “Ghost Power!!!: A Live Demonstration,” directed by Chase Bradburn of Beehive Films. The full-length feature mashes up many of Ghost Power!!!’s live performances, as well as fun conversations with Andrew and Mitch, hilarious confessions by Zöll (the band’s “biggest fan”), and appearances at local radio stations. It’s an awesome view at what the duo is like live, as well as the fairly loyal following they have in the Northwest. The best part of the documentary comes at the end, where Mitch has a major Bonzo moment outside the studio and Andrew plays around with electronic noise in a field of snow. You’ll probably have to hit up the band directly if you want to buy a copy, so find ’em on Facebook and tell ’em Large Marge sent ya! (Or don’t. That’s entirely up to you.)

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