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The Holy Ghost live on stage

In the Name of the Father, The Son and

The Holy Ghost

 
story by tim mcmahan


 

 

Lazy-i: March 19, 2002

March 26
The Holy Ghost w/ Drive By Honky, Beep, Beep
The Junction,
15th & Farnam
Omaha
8 p.m.
$5
18+

There's this line in The Holy Ghost song "Dance" -- it's the chorus, actually -- that I can't get out of my head. It goes something like: "Crush, you broke, both of your legs, but now you're walking fine / Crush, you broke, both of your legs, but now you're running fine." Holy Ghost singer Christopher Dean Heine (pronounced like the word that means "rump") spits out the rather sinister lyric like a dry heave over a throbbing bass and wash of guitar. It, along with the rest of the band's just-released CD, Broken Record, is reminiscent of another New York City-based band, Liars.

Bassist Kent Heine couldn't disagree more with the comparison.

"We usually hear the opposite," said Kent, who, by the way, happens to be Christopher's brother and along with guitarist Alec Ferrell and drummer Nick DeCarmine, makes up the rest of The Holy Ghost. "I suppose the comparison is inevitable because we practice in the same space in Brooklyn."

Not only that, but both bands share the same roots and even have a direct blood relation. Chris Heine played in Lincoln-based band Opium Taylor with Liars bassist Pat Noecker, who happens to be the Heines' second cousin. "Liars are good friends of ours," Kent said. "It's nice having family and friends out here, but as far as music is concerned, there's no comparison."

 

 

 

That's because, Heine says, Liars are part of Brooklyn's jerky, punk "No Wave" movement that includes bands The Rapture and Yeah Yeah Yeah, whose sound heralds back to late-'70s and early-'80s bands like Gang of Four and The Fall. "We haven't fit into the No Wave scene," Heine said.

Maybe not, but it's hard to deny the similarity if only in the bands' stark, sneering, almost angular style that would feel right at home strutting along those impersonal NYC streets. From the opening track's throbbing drum-and-bass tribal punk to the chaotic shaker "Natalie Wood," Broken Record sports a cold, black-leather attitude that's a throwback to '70s rockers Television. When the band leans back on a sullen melody, like on the ballady "You Are Red" and the gorgeous 7-minute closer "Thunder and Lightning," there are hints of the empty-street desolation that follows a night of Big Apple partying.

The CD was recorded in 10 days last October at Inner Ear studios in Arlington, Virginia, where the band could "get laid-back and do what we wanted to do," Heine said. "It came out as good as or better than we expected."

The band shopped the recording to a number of labels, but no one could promise to release it by March. "After we acquired a booking agent, we said let's just run our own label," Heine said of Clearly Records. "You have a stronger desire to write great songs when you're doing it yourself. The entrepreneur comes out in you. You control everything, and of course, there's the financial investment."

 

 

The Holy Ghost -- Broken Record


"Liars are good friends of ours. It's nice having family and friends out here, but as far as music is concerned, there's no comparison."


 


"You have a stronger desire to write great songs when you're doing it yourself. The entrepreneur comes out in you."


 

Kent said the office where he works as a paralegal even lets him do Clearly-related stuff "on the job. It's a pretty nice situation for me." The rest of the band works at a variety of freelance chores that keeps them fed and allows them to go on the road. Heine said the 65-date tour supporting Broken Record that brings them to The Junction March 26 and Duffy's in Lincoln March 27 is a homecoming of sorts for the band.

"It'll be a really good time, especially in Lincoln, where a few people still know who we are," he said. After spending a good deal of their lives in Lincoln, he and his brother never regretted moving to Brooklyn three years ago.

"We decided as a band to move out there," he said. "We got sick of playing local shows and figured we could tour more from New York. You'd be surprised how much easier it is to book a tour from Brooklyn. We're really happy we moved."


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Published in The Omaha Weekly March 20, 2002. Copyright 2002 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.