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The first and only post-indie transcendentalist punk band in the world.

Music Review: Hungry, Hungry Ghost – Sleeping English

Who is Alex Haager?

Such a question deserves to be asked by all, just like we all once found ourselves inquiring “Who is Darkman?” “What is The Matrix?” or “Are you going to finish that?”

Haager has definitely done a bit of traveling. Hailing from Tampa, Florida, the young musician no doubt felt the urge to break away from a land known for its hurricanes, biased voting, and orange groves and took an extended four-year holiday in Berlin, Germany. There, Alex began recording with two native musicians, Sven Flesch and Sebastian Nehen — and, for all intent and purpose, Hungry, Hungry Ghost (not to be confused with goth group The Hungry Ghost) was born.

Referring to themselves as “the first and only post-indie transcendentalist punk band in the world,” Hungry, Hungry Ghost brings a certain raw and youthful feel (in a 60s sort of way) to their decidedly mature lyrics and work.

Their first album, Sleeping English, was originally released in Germany in late 2007, but was ultimately unsuccessful in gaining any major recognition due to some bad distribution and publicity. Fear not, good folk, because Sleeping English is finally receiving a stateside debut via the indie label Infinite Best Recording. Tracks include (but are not limited to) opening charmer “Hundred Yard Reach” (“I just want away from the shackles of TV and the things they want from me”), the title track “Sleeping English” (“Can they not hear us yet? We‘re sleeping English”), and several other noteworthy compositions, “Blind,” “Bonhauser Allee (Don’t Know The Words),” “Escape To Witch MTN” and “We Are Melting.”

Also available with Sleeping English is a digital release of a new Hungry, Hungry Ghost EP, Cycloptic Myopia. The EP is included with the new re-release of Sleeping English and contains four recent tracks, “The Stark Quarry,” “Breathing Animals,” “Ain’t Life,” and “Lightning Falcon.”

If I had to describe Hungry, Hungry Ghost’s Sleeping English in ten words or less, said ten words would consist of: “like a beautiful, slightly angst-filled day by the lake.” I enjoyed listening to these works, and look forward to their next album.

About Luigi Bastardo

Luigi Bastardo is the alter-ego of a feller who loves an eclectic variety of classic (and sometimes not-so-classic) film and television. He currently lives in Northern California with four cats named Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Margaret. Seriously.

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