Dirty Ghosts Announce Fall Tour + Fun Fun Fun Fest

Click Here To Watch “Katana Rock” On Spinner

Click Here To Download “Katana Rock”

Dirty Ghosts’ front woman Allyson Baker has been a guitarist in both Toronto and San Francisco’s hardcore scene for years, and now she’s stepped up to the microphone with Dirty Ghosts whose “Katana Rock” video directed by Derrick Beckles (creator of TV CARNAGE, Adult Swim’s Totally For Teens and the upcoming series Hot Package) marks the second collaboration for these two.

The video for the song carries over elements of Dirty Ghosts’ hardcore background, combining an Argento influenced series of lit rooms. Images of layered psychedelia wash over projections of songstress Baker while she belts out the crafted, driving urgency of Katana Rock.


“Dirty Ghosts is a San Francisco-based trio that, interestingly enough, features programming from Aesop Rock. The riff-tastic “Battle Slang”‘s grimy groove features an insistent shaker, stuttering snares, and a gritty bass pulse.” – Pitchfork

“like punk riffed hard rockers (with a killer rhythm section)” – SF Bay Guardian

“an angular banger with 10-ton blues bars, a catchy punk hook and a whole lot of grit.” – AOL Spinner

“With plenty of edgy guitar riffs, subtle electro, and a voice that pulls you in, Metal Moon is definitely an album you will want to have dominating your playlists.” – Lithium

1. Ropes That Way
2. Shout It In
3. Surround The Controls
4. Battle Slang
5. No Video
6. Katana Rock
7. 19 in ’71
8. Steamboat to Concord
9. Pretty Face
10. Beast Size

Allyson Baker doesn’t scare easily. Back in the ’90s, she was sneaking into 
Dwarves shows and frequenting mosh pits before she was barely out of 
junior high; by age of 17, she was playing guitar for some of 
Toronto’s most notorious punk and hardcore bands (Teen Crud Combo 
R.I.P.), before leaving her friends and family behind in 2000 to shake 
some action in San Francisco. And yet, for all her apparent 
fearlessness, Allyson is very much haunted by forces beyond her control. Dirty Ghosts may be her 
new band, but it’s the five-years-in-the-making product of a 
habit she just can’t quit, a sound and vision that—despite numerous obstacles along the way—just had to be unleashed.

True to their name, Dirty Ghosts rose from the ashes of San Francisco sludge-blues combo Parchman Farm in 2006; as an antidote to that band’s wall of squall, Baker and fellow Parchman Farm exile Carson Binks (another Toronto expat) launched Dirty Ghosts as a stripped-down duo, writing rhythmically driven new songs 
built around intricate drum loops pieced together by Aesop Rock. And as if this relaxed, more experimental ethic wasn’t a radical 
enough shift for these life-long punk-rockers, for the first time in 
her musical career, Allyson was forced to add “vocalist” to her résumé.

“Everything that happened with this band was totally out of 
necessity,” she relates. “Post-Parchman Farm, Carson and I had spent about a 
year looking around for a singer. And then I felt like I was going to 
lose Carson and the whole thing if I didn’t decide to just do it 
myself. I had all the songs and vocals in my head, I just didn’t want 
to do it—the idea of being a singer just wasn’t appealing to me at 
all! But then I was just like, ‘Fuck it.'”

Initially, the gambit paid off—Dirty Ghosts’ earliest efforts fused 
Allyson and Carson’s deep-seated love of ’60s funk and bluesy, 
psychedelic rock with a more modernist, mechanized sheen, while Allyson’s newfound voice projected a striking balance of streetwise attitude and affecting vulnerability. Though 
Allyson says she was “completely out of touch with what was going on 
in music at the time,” Dirty Ghosts’ mix of grit and glitz aligned 
favorably with that of au courant buzz bands like The Kills and Sleigh 
Bells, while hearkening back to indie rock’s most dynamic duo, Royal Trux. In 2009, an early recording of the 21st-blaxploitation groover “Battle Slang” even 
got the band some notice on Pitchfork and other national music sites. 

However, the sudden departure of Binks in 2011 (to join Oakland-based stoner-metal behemoths Saviours) inspired Allyson to rethink, rebuild and re-record the songs and, with the help of a drummer, transform Dirty Ghosts’ bedroom beat-box experiments into stage-ready rockers. But in sharp contrast to the skull-crushing assault of 
her previous groups, Dirty Ghosts are more about putting the disco into discord, using everything from dubby funk (“Shout It In”) to minimalist electro (“Steamboat to Concord”) to vintage Van Halen-esque contorto-riffs (“19 in ‘71”) as means to showcase the emotional intensity of Allyson’s voice.

Forgoing her usual diet of Black Flag and Blue Cheer, these days Allyson is more informed more by the likes of XTC, The Police and Chrome—bands that, she says, “had distinct 
sounds mixed with other different genres that were new at that time. I play so much less guitar now—to me, this is not guitar music. I’m 
thinking more about songs, and not volume and attack. That’s part of being 
young, but then you get older and you’re like, ‘I want to write a song 
that’s catchy and that people will enjoy.’

So after 11 years in San Francisco—and five spent bringing Dirty 
Ghosts to life—Allyson now has everything she’s always envisioned: a shit-hot 
record and a fully functioning band that’s already got a west coast 
tour and South by Southwest appearances under its belt. But as much as 
Dirty Ghosts is a testament to Allyson’s drive, more often than not, she feels like she’s the one being driven.

“Music takes complete 
control over me, and then just when I think the feeling’s gone, it comes back. 
It’s a total love/hate thing: I love it because making music makes me 
feel so happy, but it kind of does the opposite, in that it takes over to the point where I can’t make any rational decisions about anything else in my 
life. But I have this weird passion for music—there’s nothing else I really want to do.”

And, as this dead-cool debut ultimately proves, good things happen when you refuse to give up the ghost.