Noise Annoys: Sister Ghost celebrate Day of The Dead, Atomic Drag and Peng Weng trade tunes

Shannon O'Neill is back with a new Day of the Dead-inspired release with Sister Ghost. Picture by Y-Control Photography
Shannon O'Neill is back with a new Day of the Dead-inspired release with Sister Ghost. Picture by Y-Control Photography

DID you have a happy Halloween? You did? Whoops. Don't you know you're supposed to keep things spooky, gothic and weird?

It will be the 'season to be jolly' soon enough: just visit any local retailer for ample evidence of such premature jubilation.

For example, I was horrified to discover that our local Sainsbury's already looks like Santa's feckin' Grotto, so in protest at that disgrace, and given that I'm actually writing this on All Hallows' Eve, Noise Annoys is hereby clinging to the season of the witch for just a tad longer with some local tunes sent to it direct from Satan's Grotto.

Black-out the windows and prepare to release the bats, it's time for one last nightmare before Christmas.

Atomic Drag vs Peng Weng – The Atomic Weng EP (Black Tragick)

Atomic Drag vs Peng Weng – The Atomic Weng EP
Atomic Drag vs Peng Weng – The Atomic Weng EP

ATTENTION, fiends: ghoul-obsessed Ballymoney doom surf instrumentalist Atomic Drag is back with a new EP on which Lee (for it is he) teams up with fellow Co Antrim weirdo and Black Tragick labelmate Peng Weng to trade songs.

Thus, the EP opens up with the Drag's take on Googuy by the enigmatic Doagh-based artist – another warped-of-mind instrumentalist, whose Facebook page offers an endless doom scroll of disturbingly distorted photographs for those running low on nightmare fuel – unpicking the stitches of the original's creepy, clanking, fuzzed-up big beat freak-out and re-arranging its guts before dragging this high voltage Frankenstein down to the beach to create an even more amped-out/surfed-up guitar-heavy interpretation.

I don't know where the featured sample of a surf dude describing his unconventional pre-wave riding routine is culled from, but having read a couple of Kem Nunn's surf noir novels in my time, I'm definitely keen to find out – answers on a postcard to the usual address.

Remember kids, just say "woah".

Elsewhere, the Weng sinks their fangs into Atomic Drag favourite The Obsidian Bat of Doom, re-branding it The Obsidian Bat of Weng in the process: death march percussion is pulled to the fore, while the Pixies-esque surf guitar madness of the Drag original is dialled down to a more sinister, Cramps-y strum 'n' chime, which occasionally runs backwards and is bolstered by deft doom bass wrangling to create an ideal soundtrack for unspeakable midnight rituals on the sand.

Helpfully, the original versions of both tunes are also included in the package for better comparing and contrasting purposes.

Of how this pair of like-minded freaks came to join forces for their new joint-EP, Lee says: "Me, you know all about: Peng Weng, on the other hand, no-one knows anything about – and that's the way they like it.

"In fact, the person I have been communicating with for the past year denies being Peng Weng and claims only to be a representative. Make of that what you will."

Hopefully, this EP will send you off down Atomic Drag and Peng Weng-shaped rabbit holes to seek out more information and musical madness.

Start your infernal journey today at either atomicdrag.bandcamp.com or pengweng.bandcamp.com – choose and perish.

Sister Ghost – Lilith / Song For The Dead (single, self-released)

Lilith / Song for The Dead is out now
Lilith / Song for The Dead is out now

RELEASED on November 2 to coincide with Dia de los Muertos – the Day of the Dead – Lilith is a brand new offering helpfully self-described as "an offering of loud guitars and big harmonies that's a welcome seasonal slice of Sister Ghost".

Couldn't have put it better myself, though I will add that Lilith is a groovy, spooky number which slinks along slyly before bursting into life on its big, bold chorus.

Sister Ghost host Shannon D O'Neill says her latest is "a tale of enchantment by the mythical Lilith, succumbing to her powers in the dark desert and being reborn. A demon to some, a feminist icon and goddess to others, this is an homage to the 'first woman'.

Sister Ghost host Shannon O'Neill. Picture by Y-Control Photography
Sister Ghost host Shannon O'Neill. Picture by Y-Control Photography

"This release is also my tribute to one of my favourite genres, desert rock. Inspired by my visit to the Mojave Desert area of Joshua Tree in California earlier this year, it was a fun way of capturing the energy and wonder I felt by giving it a creative outlet.

"The artwork is a nod to desert rock legends Kyuss and their album Welcome to Sky Valley, whilst the B-side cover of Song for The Dead by Queens of the Stone Age was just the perfect desert rock excuse to collaborate with my friend Presley Zierman, a talented LA-based drummer, and for me to have a load of fun on guitar."

It's definitely a damn fine version of the QOTSA fave, retaining the familiar bulldozering momentum of the original as Shannon's lead and backing vocals add a beguiling extra layer of Sister Ghosty witchiness to ensure you succumb to its dark 'n' dusty charms.

Find both tunes at sisterghost.bandcamp.com and keep an eye on Noise Annoys for details of the debut Sister Ghost album, due out next year.


Teenage Fanclub – Friday November 3, Mandela Hall, Belfast.

Teenage Fanclub are back in Belfast on Friday night
Teenage Fanclub are back in Belfast on Friday night

ROUNDING things off on a rather less-spooky note this week, Belshill's finest return to Belfast on the tour for their current album Nothing Lasts Forever, their second full length following the departure of founding member Gerry Love.

A lot of folks wrote the Fannies off after Gerry left: being one of the band's three main songwriters, the group decided to retire his material after he left. However, even with Fanclub favourites like Sparky's Dream, Ain't That Enough and Star Sign now absent from their live sets, the band have endured.

Now bolstered by former Gorky's Zygotic Mynci man Euros Childs on keys and vocals, Nothing Lasts Forever and its predecessor Endless Arcade have proved that there is ample life after Love for these indie rock veterans, with superb recent singles like Back To The Light and Foreign Land more than living up to the high standards set by their predecessors over the past 33 years.

An evening of glorious, vocal harmonies-laden guitar pop awaits.

Tickets £27.50 via Ticketmaster.ie