One of the highlights of 2014 was watching Boston psych rock quintet Ghost Box Orchestra play the Wilbur Theatre, part of their summer tour swing with the Cult. Known to fill their share of rock clubs over the years, Ghost Box Orchestra’s sound expands and contracts whichever way you mentally allow it: Compressed internally, it sends your head into an internal spiral; given room to breathe, it pulls and tugs you along in a feeling of suspended weightlessness. At the cavernous Wilbur, the sound coated the room at times like a slow molasses dribble, then thundered down and reverberated back off the walls without much ability to brace for it.
Oddly, that same sensation is apparent on the band’s new EP, the four-song, 28-minute-long Sound of (Eternal Now), which got the record release party treatment earlier this month and again gets its live shine on November 12 at the Middle East with WAND and Midriffs.
Continuing the band’s ability to fill both earbuds and theatres with the same roar and rumble, the lead and title track, “Sound of (Eternal Now),” was recorded at Converse Rubber Tracks, and is led by an attention-grabbing, seance-like reverb- and delay-drenched flute tone from keyboardist Nazli Rez (it even gives off some eerie Stone Roses vibes). The next two songs, including the 11-minute-long “Lodge III,” are improvisational pieces created during equipment tests at their Studio 52 rehearsal space, and the final track, “Reprise,” is a droney number crafted by guitarist Chris Johnson that incorporates elements of “Sound of (Eternal Now).”
“They materialized so quickly: the single in one day at Rubber Tracks, two other songs were completely spur of the moment at our rehearsal space and the last one was made in Chris’s living room,” Ghost Box Orchestra’s Jeremy Lassetter tells DigBoston. “I think we’re expanding as a band to include some more serendipitous moments that we were lucky to have tape rolling — otherwise an improv in the practice space usually disappears right after the last note rings out.”
Expand as you will.