Canyon Spree & Cool Ghouls: Morbidly Country & Deathly Harmonised

Cool Ghouls by Ines Soutschka

Female-fronted Canyon Spree are three women and one man. That’s eight nice legs, two guitars, one bass and one drum kit. Two thumbs up!

I have been in Berlin for just over two months now and Canyon Spree is the first ‘local’ Berlin-based band I’ve had the pleasure of seeing live! Though I think most of its members come from somewhere else in the world, their most common playing ground is here. I really enjoyed watching and listening to this band.

There were quite a few songs that gave me goosebumps because they were just so perfect in complexity and simplicity

They play well together and their bass riffs are fun and uncomplicated, pushing nicely through the more complex set of guitars. A fantastical representation of psychedelic garage rock.

The front lady Stéphanie Morin has a strong and haunting voice that is wonderfully backed by bassist Karen and guitarist David

Humboldthain Club is probably not the best venue for live performances, as it apparently turns mostly into a techno club after the bands are done. Though it is a really cool place and has a nice beachy bar outside with the typical and pleasing Berliner brick – the sound inside is definitely a bit tough to get right. This was especially noticeable with the next band, all the way from San Francisco and part of the Burger Records, Cool Ghouls.

They sounded like a mixture between R.E.M and something out of the Kill Bill soundtrack

It was quite a surprise to me to see this band come on stage. I had not done my homework and only listened to one or two of their tracks before attending the show and was not expecting what I heard. Cool Ghouls is a psychedelic country band!! Whaaaat? I’m really not saying it was bad, I just really did not expect it.

Cool Ghouls consist of four guys, two guitars, one bass, one drum kit, three awesome voices, one pair of glasses that slip down the nose while playing a lot and a lot of love for Berlin

What was really fun about them was not only that they were good musicians, but that they alternated between being ‘frontmen’ – ie. they did not have a frontman and swapped between each band member (except the drummer) singing a whole song and then all joining in together. This created a great sense of anticipation as to who would sing the next song! They really did harmonise beautifully. This to me is what makes the band stand out as a unique and unusual band. Yes, maybe in some ways it was too R.E.M-ish for me but the sense of nineties nostalgia definitely crept up and I kind of fell in love with what these guys were creating. Big ups to them and Canyon Spree! Please go watch them both if you ever get the chance.

You can listen to their albums here (https://canyonspree.bandcamp.com/) and or go see their next show in South Africa!

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