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Empty Cellar Records is stoked to announce the third full-length by San Francisco’s Cool Ghouls. Fans of their self-titled release and 2014’s A Swirling Fire Burning Through the Rye will be similarly stoked to hear how this band continues to evolve. If the first album was a celebratory debut and the second an earnest venture into deeper waters, Animal Races is like the crystal born of the murky womb that was its predecessor, fertilized by the initial intention of the first. Not only have the Ghouls reaped the crop they sowed, they’ve baked it into some new kind of bread. For the uninitiated: Cool Ghouls play rock ’n’ roll. That’s about all there is to it. They’re California natives. They try to do a good job. They like to elevate and to get far out. They also like to keep it real. They like to make friends and have a good time. They don’t like bullshit. They want to keep growing and learning how to become more powerful musicians. This record reflects the discoveries they’ve made over the last five years. The eleven tracks, recorded to tape by Kelley Stoltz in his backyard studio, are first and foremost documents of the four-piece’s live performance of the tunes. Many of the songs were road-tested, but—unlike prior records—a few of them were not. This opened the door for some new looks: acoustic guitar, synth, upright piano, a little pedal steel wizardry from Tom Heyman, etc. It’s Cool Ghouls doing what they’ve always done, but in more ways and better.