cd reviews - June 22, 2013
Stephen 'SPAZ' Schnee
Pop music is a wonderful thing... if it's done right. It doesn't
necessarily have to jangle, chime or ring in order for it to be classified
as Pop. And when I'm talking Pop, I'm not talking Britney Spears, One
Direction and any manufactured act that's ever graced the American Idol
stage! No, I'm talking about the kind of Pop that stretches back to the
days of Buddy Holly and then moves forward, taking in the likes of everyone
from The Beatles to The Sex Pistols to Oasis. Some try to pigeonhole Pop,
but its a much larger beast than we can ever imagine. It doesn't have
a defined shape or size - it just IS. You know Pop when you hear it: it
can be found in Spector's Wall Of Sound as well as The Jesus & Mary
Chains wall of fuzz. Pop is, simply put, the melody in Rock 'n' Roll.
Which brings us to Driven, the latest release from The
Lost Patrol. While the album is a focused affair, the band are not afraid
to play with the Pop formula a little bit. Their influences seem to range
from the Girl Group sounds of the '60s to late '70s bands like The Tourists
and Blondie and '80s and '90s Shoegazing and Britpop with a little dab
of the ethereal sound of The Cocteau Twins. And on Driven, The
Lost Patrol have created an album that looks back at Pop's rich history
while taking it to beautiful places.
Consisting of Stephen Masucci, Mollie Israel and Michael Williams,
the band create a dream-like sound that is both haunting and engaging.
The songs on the album may appear dark on the surface but the warmth of
the melodies rises above the coldness of the moody atmosphere. While I've
read references to Goth when describing the band, Driven does
not have any gothic overtones whatsoever, thank goodness. The music is
surprisingly pretty while still possessing a dangerous element. If comparisons
are needed, then imagine The Primitives performing Chris Isaak's "Wicked
Game" while being taunted by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. While the
album is a lovely batch of tunes, there's still a bit of wicked Garage
Rock undertones that keep the songs rooted in Rock 'n' Roll.
Highlights include "Spinning", "In Too Deep",
"All Tomorrow's Promises", the ghostly Missing Persons-like
"Invincible", the mostly instrumental "There & Back"
and so many more. The only misstep on the album is "Just Go",
which is a brave musical break from the rest of the album but doesn't
quite reach the heights of the rest of the album.
The big problem I see is that the band has quite a few releases
before this one... and now it's time for me to catch up!