::The Lost Patrol::



cd reviews - October 13, 2011
Jon Dawson
Rocket Surgery

5 Stars Out Of 5

Have you ever had one of those perfect days at the beach? The skies are hazy; it’s warm but not unbearably so; and the current allows you to float out to a point where it feels like it’s just you and the ocean?

Perfect days don’t come by very often, but The Lost Patrol have managed to bottle a massive dose of that naturally hallucinogenic feeling on their new album, “Rocket Surgery.”

“Rocket Surgery” is the third album to feature the lead vocals of Mollie Israel, who is flanked by Lost Patrol stalwarts Stephen Massucci and Michael Williams. While the album does cast a mood over the listener as if some type of harmless happy gas is wafting from the speakers, the songs shift from dreamy and playful to aggressive and violent without breaking character. Like a good film, “Rocket Surgery” gets reality out of the way for a few minutes.

Opening track “Dead or Alive” makes it difficult to get to the rest of the album, as it’s the type of song for which “repeat” buttons were invented. “Dead or Alive” is the archetypal Lost Patrol tune: Dusty 12-string guitar, menacing bass, and a John Barry-esque guitar figure give way to a vocal that’s as haunting as it is beautiful. To hear Israel’s powerful voice slice through the middle of the Massuci/Williams soundscape is a rare pleasure in the world of modern popular music.

It would be perfectly acceptable for The Lost Patrol to fill an album with songs cut from the “Dead or Alive” cloth, but they don’t. “Not the Only One” evokes the pastoral psychedelic days of early King Crimson, while “Coming Down” sounds like the type of thing Adele might produce if she decided to go the rock and roll route. The electronica-gallop of “Lost at Sea” is the type of song Garbage or Blondie would wish for — given the proper lamp.

While all of these comparisons are recognizable, they are nonetheless minimal. “Sweet Ophelia” has a futuristic vibe that proves it’s still possible to do something new with a pop song. One can just picture little green men doing the Cabbage Patch to this song as they try to pick up little green women in a sports bar on the other side of Saturn.

It’ll be interesting to see where The Lost Patrol goes from here, but “Rocket Surgery” presents an enthralling case for the focusing on the present.






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