Comet Gain's 2014 album Paperback Ghosts was an autumnal affair, subdued by their standards and dotted with strings and tenderness. At the same sessions they also recorded a handful of songs that didn't fit the mood of the album, but were pretty great all the same. Four of them were released on the Fingerprint Ritual EP in early 2015. One quick listen is all it takes to see why they didn't end up on the album, as they are filled with a feverish energy that spills out of the speakers like hot lava. Not exactly the feeling Ghosts was going for, but here the four songs sound like some of the best work the band has ever done. Starting off with "Breaking Open the Head, Pt. 2 (The Eye-Shaped Room)," a twisting, psychedelic jam that unspools for almost 12 mysteriously murky minutes without ever losing the plot, the EP features some ear-splitting guitar work, vocals that push the meters into the red, and some seriously ripping tunes. "That Lucifer Summer" is a fun and swirling horror rocker, "To the City's Core" has a shambling strut that sounds like it was forcibly removed from Them's back catalog, and "The Obsolete Significant Dignified" dials back the tempo, but adds bitterness and twin-guitar fireworks that threaten to tear the song in two halfway through. Fingerprint Ritual is a perfect companion to Paperback Ghosts, giving people who missed their dose of the old Comet Gain fever on that record a welcome booster shot.
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AllMusic Review by Tim Sendra