Considering the other-worldly, dramaticly sinister persona conjured on this record, it is almost a shame to divulge the real man behind Haunted George. Listening to this album you really want to believe there's a grizzled Jim Thompson protagonist toiling away as a shut-in one man band somewhere out in the middle of the Mojave Desert. And in fact, that's mostly actually the case. Anyone familiar with Steve Pallow of the Beguiled and the Necessary Evils, two of the more misanthropic, anti-social bands (among strong competition) who recorded for Crypt and In The Red Records over the past 20 years, should have some idea of the brain behind Haunted George.
After years of living in Los Angeles doing sound for the movies and growing weary of the increasingly more germane world of "garage" punk rock, a few years ago noted singer/guitarist/bassist/social agitator Steve Pallow moved out to the the Mojave Desert and now works as a Park Ranger. With plenty of silent desert time on his hands and a lifelong obsession with ghost stories, lost treasure and the generally absurd as inspiration, he set about playing a more roots-influenced music informed primarily by country and western and pre war-blues.
Exploring the one-man band format out of sheer necessity, he recorded these and dozens of other songs (many of which are abstract/noise recordings under the name Snuff Maximus) on a 1970s era mono casette recorder with a condenser mic inside. There are no overdubs and the result is an unsettling sound which by no means should be relegated to strictly the "one-man band" category. Harnessing some of the creepiest vibes laid down in recent memory, "Panther Howl" comes off like a lost field recording of some nascent Lux Interior/Howlin' Wolf weirdo with a very twisted mind.
"A paranoid, nightmarish and altogether disturbed aural hallucination; each drum thud the lockstep of a weary fella who's lost himself in the twilight of the uninhabited desert; every space between beats a sparse landscape devoid of humanity, yet rife with fear and exaggerated panic. A creepy dirge that calls to mind pieces of American folklore, the extraterrestrial, the supernatural, murder. Y'know, a BAD TRIP. And not something you're bound to hear from any other one man band today."
-Eric Lastname, TERMINAL BOREDOM
Haunted George "Pile O' Meat" One Sheet
Haunted George "Panther Howl" One Sheet
Haunted George Myspace Page
Haunted George interview on Terminal Boredom
Haunted George interview on Swampland
Haunted George and the Hex Dispensers
|Download "Pile O' Meat" from iTunes