Roky Erickson, the former 13th Floor Elevator, has battled more demons than most in his troubled career. Thankfully he has also managed to write songs that continue to inspire fellow musicians, the latest of which are a set of metal-heads from Linköping, Sweden. This troupe of five ‘Nameless Ghouls’ are led by the be-masked Papa Emeritus II – a misanthropic character who describes himself as a “refined wine and ladies man” – and have carved out an impressive musical reputation thanks to their ability to marry muscular melodies alongside sludgy riffs.
Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl counts himself among Ghost’s growing army of fans, so much so that he once secretly dressed up as a Nameless Ghoul and appeared unannounced with the band. Latterly, he has also produced their recently released EP, If You Have Ghost – a five-track affair that features covers of songs by ABBA (I’m A Marionette), Army Of Lovers (Crucified), Depeche Mode (Waiting For The Night) and a live version of the self-penned Secular Haze. The EP’s title track is an adaptation of Erickson’s 1981 track If You Have Ghosts.
A remarkably melodic version of the tune with a definite West Coast psych flavour, the song itself may indeed counteract the view held by non-believers that Ghost are just another novelty act in a long line of cartoon metal combos. Check it out below.