Spiritual Warfare and the Greasy Shadows

“One of the best songs on ad hoc (self-released, 2018), the new album by local experimental pop project Spiritual Warfare and the Greasy Shadows, is "Shook Loose." It's a catchy, up-tempo ditty about the randomness and absurdity of existence.

"Wasting time, turn on a dime. / Where did we come from on your mind," sings project creator Joel Marquard. Later in the song, he slips in this sardonic couplet about human evolution: "Out of the water, we crawl / To our food court job at the mall."

That might not seem like a cheery sentiment, but Marquard's rippling guitar hook, Bo Diddley-esque beat and ghostly background vocals make the song sound ecstatic rather than despairing. The Arizona transplant pulls off a similar trick on the bubbly "Angel of Death Donut Shop," the swooning "Volcano Girls" and the 11-minute epic "Death Was an Olympic Speedskater." Odd yet beguiling songs like these make ad hoc, which came out on May 12, one of the most fascinating local releases of recent years.

True to its title, ad hoc's idiosyncratic sound arose partially from resources Marquard had at hand.

"In Pro Tools [a music software program], I found this disc in the box that said 'Loops,'" he said. "So I put it in my computer one day, and it just has all these professionally recorded [tracks]. ... They had all these Indian percussion loops—I mean, like, East India."

The sinuous rhythms that Marquard created from those loops help distinguish ad hoc from his earlier work, which includes albums with the emo band Dear and the Headlights, the indie-rock group Gospel Claws and the ersatz gospel project The Through & Through Gospel Review. The new LP doesn't quite sound like Spiritual Warfare's previous material either.”
- Boise Weekly

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