Although their name is derived from some of George Clinton's Funkadelic stage banter, San Francisco quartet Cool Ghouls have more in common with classic garage and melodic, mid-'60s psychedelia.
Former high school friends from a Bay Area suburb, the band consists of guitarists Pat McDonald and Ryan Wong, bassist Pat Thomas, and drummer Alex Fleshman, with McDonald, Wong, and Thomas all sharing lead vocal duties. Mixing the raw, primitive sound of acts like the Troggs and the Monks with the harmonies and sophistication of the Millennium, the group's first release was the six-track Alright Cassette in late 2012. They quickly gained admirers in San Francisco and beyond with local hero Tim Cohen (the Fresh & Onlys) jumping on board to both champion the band and produce their 2013 self-titled full-length. Working quickly, they returned a year later with 2014's A Swirling Fire Burning Through the Rye. For their third album, Cool Ghouls invited songwriter Kelley Stoltz to produce the sessions. Stoltz also played guitar with the group in the studio, as did pedal steel guitarist Tom Heyman. The album Animal Races was released by Empty Cellar in August 2016. ~ Timothy Monger, Rovi