Mike Doughty Returns As Ghost of Vroom & Projects New Musical Flavors & Spirits (ALBUM REVIEW)

Instead of resurrecting his old band Soul Coughing as he had planned to, Mike Doughty teamed up with longtime collaborator Andrew “Scrap” Livingston to form something new, yet in the same spirit of his previous act with influences from his long solo career. Ghost of Vroom’s debut full length has splashes of electronica, hip hop, blues, and disco flowing through its bones. 

The first two singles pop out as “I Hear the Ax Swinging” struts with funky confidence, fuzz guitar, and a jazzy breakdown while “More Bacon Than the Pan Can Handle” is a redo of an older solo song of Doughty’s with updated Covid conscious verses but the same cool chorus. “James Jesus Angleton” is another winner producing a laid-back groove while discussing the former chief of CIA Counterintelligence’s spycraft.     

Doughty’s singing style and lyrics recall G-Love and John McCrea as both the blues and rock get twisted up in Ghost of Vroom’s world, which this go around was produced by Mario Caldato Jr. “Revelator” puts a disco-infused spin on blues classic “John The Revelator” while “Miss You Like Crazy” is a love-struck, hand-clapping spiritual hoe down. Percussion and groove play a huge part of GoV’s sound with “Memphis Woofer Rock”, “Beat Up Born Where I Come From” and “Bad Credit No Credit” showing off funky beats and get down drumming. 

Doughty, Livingston, and Caldato Jr. keep listeners on their toes with experimentation such as random recordings/violin insertions, the digital bleeps. and pop culture reference of “50,000 Bonus Miles” and the They Might Be Giants sounding short ditty ”Send a Letter to the Moon”. Fans of Doughty’s past work will gobble up Ghost of Vroom 1 as his off-kilter hip-hop-inspired sounds continue to slightly shift while staying firmly rooted in his previous style.

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