cd reviews - June 27, 2013
Jason W. Adolf
ec·lec·tic /i'klektik/ Adjective. Deriving
ideas, style, or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources.
So says some reputable website on the world wide web. In my experience
though, this term can come off as damning praise. “Oh, don’t
mind him – he’s a bit eclectic”. You know what I’m
talking about, I’m sure you’ve heard the term in the same
way. Not always true, mind you – just my experience. I’ve
always been drawn to people, authors, and musicians who embrace an eclectic
approach. (True Confession: I love Sandinista! by The Clash). There’s
something about the all-encompassing approach that I really enjoy. New
York City’s The Lost Patrol are a band that use an eclectic approach
to great effect.
The Lost Patrol began life as an experimental project devoted
to soundtrack music. They released a few albums with that guiding approach
before revamping their lineup in 2008 and adding Mollie Israel on vocals
to their ranks. Although the early albums are worthy of attention, it
seems that this shift was the move that allowed the band to take off and
gain well deserved attention. The band now consists of Mollie Israel on
vocals and multi-instrumentalists Stephen Masucci and Michael Williams.
Each album since 2008 has received praise and critical acclaim which brings
me to their latest record – 2013's Driven. Each album has
offered up their classics and “mix tape” songs (wait, do mix
tapes still exist?), but the new record takes the highs of the previous
records and uses that as the standard for all 12 tracks. Surf rock instrumentals,
Cure inspired vibes, even a jazz inspired track towards the end of the
album – it is all stunning. Or should I say “eclectic”.
walking tall in your fancy threads (highlights)
Spinning gets the record started off on the right foot
with a jangly tune that reminded me of The Sundays and The Ocean Blue
(perhaps their bastard child). The instrumental interludes on this track
create a haunting atmosphere that compliments the more upbeat verses and
chorus. Key lyrics:
My head is spin, spin, spinning!
Dizzy thoughts and sweet submissions
While the time is slip, slip, slipping away… away.
See You in Hell - what a track! Dangerous surf guitar
anchors the whole thing down, the sinister riff edging its way into the
listeners brain almost immediately. Vocals are the perfect combination
of restraint and emotional outpouring. A 50?s / 60?s vibe combined with
the punk attitude of The Jesus & Mary Chain. Amazing stuff. Check
out these lyrics:
Now you’re walking tall, in your fancy
with your glassy eyes in your empty head.
And you’re talking trash, like you do
I’ll see you in hell.
Invincible is also the name of my favorite post-Chameleons
project by Mark Burgess. I had it in my head I’d love this track
before I listened to it just based on the title alone (yes, I’m
a geek). Incredible bass riff gives this song the feel of a lost post-punk
classic from the early 80's (my hunch was right). The vocals are spot
on, the music weaves in and out of melodies and riffs – everything
Disguise closes the album with another highlight track
for me. Shimmering guitars, ghostly vocals – everything I love in
a “Modern Rock” track (remember when they called it that?).
Emotional vocals that really connect with the listener, underpinned with
sad surf guitars and sound f/x. The last-minute or so serves as an encapsulation
of everything that this band is capable of. Perfect closing track. Key
Half a million mistakes had sent me wandering,
without a friend or a foe that I could rely on.
You can’t measure success in nickels and dimes.
Always running ahead while looking behind.
This is an album that I’ve had on repeat over the last
month or so. Sometimes it recalls the post fuzzed out bliss of The Jesus
& Mary Chain’s mid period but it can also bring to mind those
amazing surf instrumentals from the 60's (or the homages to that era that
The Pixies offered up). It’s an album that is strengthened by its
disparate influences – you’re gonna love it, I guarantee it.
Check out the band via their website as well as on everyone’s favorite
social network, Facebook.
Verdict: Sold my Soul to The Lost Patrol
For Fans of: East River Pipe, The Pixies, Dick Dale, The Cure,
Cocteau Twins, The Jesus & Mary Chain.
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