Reviewed by Tony Rounce

The four women of Ghum have been on the verge of breaking out of the regular DIY scene and moving up to a higher-profile level for some time now. In the past six months they have been tipped for success by national newspapers, and feted by national radio DJs. Their gigs are getting bigger and more full, and it can surely only be a matter of time before they find a ‘name’ fan (rather in the way that Big Joanie found Thurston Moore, or vice versa) to further their cause.  Good for them, it’s not something we should begrudge any band or singer from ‘our’ scene.

In the meantime Ghum are still ‘ours’, and still working at making music that we can all enjoy while world domination awaits.  They’re kicking off their move into 2020 with a long-overdue follow up to last summer’s ‘The Coldest Fire’. Has the wait been worth it?  Oh, most certainly…

A dark, brooding headlong up-tempo rush into full-on musical exhilaration, driven by layers of echoed guitar and singer Laura’s passionate whisper-to-a-scream vocals, ‘California’ brings to mind – and I hope that Ghum or anyone else won’t be anoyed by me saying this – the sound of U2 in the “Boy” era, when that particular band were fresh, interesting and innovative rather than the rock dinosaurs they have become.  There are also hints of the early Cure sound there, but all presented in a 21st Century soundscape that confirms Ghum’s early promise is now more of a threat than ever (in the nicest possible way, of course).  It’s a glimpse into a future that’s seemingly limitless, if ‘California’ is anything to go by…

‘California’ is out now, and can be streamed and downloaded from all the usual sources, including Bandcamp and Spotify. Ghum are headlining a launch show for it at London venue Electrowerkz on January 30th and again in London at Dingwalls on March 5th. Follow them on Facebook for further gig and other general Ghum news!

 See GHUM on tour in 2020: 

30 Jan | Elektrowerkz, London

5 Mar | 6 Music Festival, London 

28 Mar | Ritual Union, Bristol

25 Apr | Are You Listening? Festival, Reading

3 May | Stag & Dagger, Glasgow

6 Aug | Haldern Pop, Rees-Haldern, DE

7 Aug | CanelaParty, Malaga, ES

GHUM – California – out now via Everything Sucks Music