Infused with ‘80s UK post-punk (Death Cult, Killing Joke, Chameleons) and SoCal deathrock (T.S.O.L., Samhain), The Wraith was founded by Bales, formerly of revered Virginia peace-punkers Lost Tribe, and guitarist Kaz Alvis shortly after they separately washed up in L.A. Their irresistibly distinctive sound – skeletal basslines and tribal beats propelling Alvis’ textured swathes beneath Bales’ poetic, anguished bark – immediately gained a following.
Convulsive, chaotic West Coast shows honed the songs that became The Wraith’s lauded 2017 EP, “Shadow Flag”. A couple of videos and line-up changes later – the band is now completed by Belgian drummer Jef Pauly and Brit bassist Paul Rogers –, their evocative songwriting and pure-punk authenticity earned the ear of Mitchell (who’s also produced/remixed The Flaming Lips, Tones on Tail, Meat Puppets, King Crimson and more).
“The Wraith is a flashback to many of the bands that inspired me to start making music,” said Mitchell. “Given the opportunity to work on an album with them, how could I turn it down?”
The 11-song Gloom Ballet and accompanying videos will be released worldwide later this year.