Album Review: Ghost Frog – Astral Arcade (Self Released)

Ghost Frog are a ‘paranormal stoner punk’ band from Portland, OR who play heavy psychedelic space rock that combines doomy riffs with punk energy and otherworldly melodies. All while exploring themes derived from sci-fi/ horror film and literature as well as all things spacey and/or spooky.

They released their third album, a video game themed concept album called ‘Astral Arcade’ on December 4th 2020. They describe the album as:

A (cyber)space rock opera about extraterrestrial life, the universe and video games.

Has there ever been a band that so perfectly match what this very website is about? A band that combines our love of gaming, horror and heavy metal so perfectly? If we had the musical talent, temperament and patience to ever start a band, it would be something like this.

Thankfully, we’re not needed as we have Ghost Frog and their incredible new album, Astral Arcade. Ten tracks of groovy, psychedelic and raw stoner punk that haunts the senses. From the eerie guitar twang and intense blasts of fuzzed out noise that make up the opener Data Slave. To the unnerving trippiness of Kill Screen, the mentally distorting groove of Cheat Code and the teeth-aching fuzz of City Snatchers. The first part of Astral Arcade is weird but in the best possible way. Super-addictive, deceptively catchy and deliciously peculiar.

Changing tactics at the halfway point briefly, Bio Break is a short ‘intermission’ style track that heightens the sense of otherworldliness that exists throughout the album. Agent Provocateur then keeps things tight and short with a much more punk-infused effort. This is where Ghost Frog’s rawer edge is really evident and it is as thrilling as ever.

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The latter half of the album doesn’t see a single drop in quality as Straight Jacket and Computer Lab keep things bizarre and so very unique. Two tracks that show off the different sides of Ghost Frog. The former fuzzy and energetic. The other psychedelic, chilled and with building bursts of intensity that set the mind aflame.

Permanent Hermit is a nice palette cleanser, short and to the point but with a ton of danceable liveliness. Before this excellent and very distinctive album wraps up with a track that can best be described as akin to drifting through a colourful cosmos. Where you feel nothing but peace, up until the beat starts to increase and suddenly that drift turns into something a bit more like being pulled through the stars.

Wonderful stuff.

Ghost Frog – Astral Arcade Full Track Listing:

1. Data Slave
2. Kill Screen
3. Cheat Code
4. City Snatchers
5. Bio Break
6. Agent Provocateur
7. Straight Jacket
8. Computer Lab
9. Permanent Hermit
10. Space Junkie




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Ghost Frog - Astral Arcade (Self Released)
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