It’s been about 18 months since we last heard from New York City’s The Lost Patrol. 2013’s Driven was a masterful record, indebted to 80’s post-punk with a side of noir. It was one of my favorite records of 2013 and I was curious about how the band would follow it up. In 2014 the band still features Mollie Israel on vocals alongside multi-instrumentalists Stephen Masucci and Michael Williams. New to the band is Tony Mann on drums, who lends the new tunes a rawer feel in comparison to previous records. The record is a “grower” in the classic sense of the term – each spin reveals a new layer of beauty. It is the strongest offering by The Lost Patrol to date and pushes the band forward whilst retaining everything that has made them great thus far.
There isn’t a weak song on the entire record, which is refreshing in this day and age of catchy singles surrounded by sub par album tracks. The album retains a dreamy feel throughout its 9 tracks, variations of the same emotions. Creeper kicks things off with a funky intro and breathless vocals. Surf rock vibe that wouldn’t sound out-of-place in a David Lynch or Quentin Tarantino movie. Mollie Israel’s vocal performance is restrained, giving the song an overall creepy vibe. Too Hard, Too Fast is perhaps my favorite song on the record, echo guitar sounds making this the best song U2 never wrote circa 1983. The chorus positively explodes “Every future’s past / lost in your caress / bracing for the crash / falling too hard, far too fast”. Have I mentioned how much I love Stephen Masucci and Michael William’s instrumental work on this track? Chasing Shadows is the title track and shows a stronger shoegazing influence, indebted in particular to the band Lush. A down-tempo guitar refrain drifts throughout the entire 3:30 song, creating a feeling of dread. How about those drums? Raw, steady, and evocative. Another beautiful vocal performance from Mollie Israel. I love the imagery these opening lines evoke “Chasing shadows, chasing time / into thin air”. If I Could is a slice of jangle pop by way of dream pop (or something like that). As an album closer, it has an epic feel with the lyrics openly optimistic. David Shire’s string arrangement on this track is tasteful and lends just the right amount of weight to Mollie Israel’s emotional pleas “I would give you the sun / and your dreams still to come / if I could”.
An unexpected treat, this album has been in constant rotation for the last month or so. I’m interested to see what comes next for The Lost Patrol. You can pick up a copy of the CD (or download) from the band’s Bandcamp site. Make sure to catch up with the band’s activities on Facebook as well. Another gem from The Lost Patrol, this is one record you’ll want to add to your collection.
Verdict: Layers of Beauty from The Lost Patrol
For Fans of: Lush, The Chameleons, U2, Cocteau Twins, David Lynch, Lana Del Rey, Chris Isaak
- Too Hard, Too Fast
- Trust Me
- Chasing Shadows
- I’m 28
- If I Could