Music/Popular Culture

“See You in Hell” and the dominatrix garage: The Lost Patrol drops a new video, and btw, the CD is fantastic

CATEGORY: MusicThe new CD from The Lost PatrolDriven, was released on May 1, and I’ve just about played it to death ever since. This is their ninth album (I think – if there’s more I missed them and need copies asap) and there’s something a little uncanny about their ability to continue mining such a distinct sound without getting stale and derivative. Seriously – as much as I obviously love the band, there’s a part of me that keeps thinking eventually they’re going to run out of ideas. So far, though, that hasn’t happened – quite the contray.

Between reviews, SVRs, ToR rounds and miscellaneous one-offs, TLP has appeared in nearly 30 posts here at S&R, and I won’t repeat myself. Especially the part where I try and describe that sound. But I will comment on how fresh Driven is (and forgive me if I get sort of reviewery for a second – it isn’t something I tend to do well). Yes, the band is still defined by Stephen Masucci’s entrancing, surf-meets-Duane Eddy twang-meets-Ennio Morricone guitars (with an occasional dash of Shoegaze and Goth thrown in for flavor), and whereas most bands build on a aural spine emerging from the rhythm section, here the foundation emerges from Michael Williams and his 12-string. If ever that instrument has been used to better effect over a longer period of time, I don’t think I’ve heard it.

Best of all, Mollie Israel continues to grow as a writer and performer. Sexy and vampish, her personality, like her rich, versatile voice, simply fills all available space. It isn’t that she ever came off as a shy, retiring flower, exactly, but over the past five years we’ve seen her grow into her place at the front of the stage by leaps and bounds, as if every new song was an epiphany. In 2008 she was a really good singer. In 2013 she’s a dynamo. If it wasn’t true before, it certainly is now: Masucci has found the creative equal he was looking for a few years back in the wake of Danielle Stauss’s departure from the band.

The songs you’ve come to expect are here on Driven – the whole widescreen drama thing I have referenced in the past. But there are surprises, too. If TLP are generally weaving songscapes influenced by those Morricone spaghetti Western soundtracks, “Little Black Kitten” is something you might hear if you wandered into a spaghetti Blues bar. And in the sly, weary “Just Go,” an unreconstructed Torch number, Israel goes all Ruth Etting. A lot of men out there have heard this tone before, and if you’re like me you don’t want to hear it again. This isn’t the Romantic, dreamy, hopeful side of Torch, it’s the “I’m tired and give up, do whatever you want but leave me alone” side. In Israel’s hands the result is self-aware, funny, slightly playful and decidedly uncomfortable.

A side note. Remember in Blade Runner when the 1940s throwback tune “One More Kiss, Dear” is wafting through the scene? Right. It’s a brief musical nod to the Noir genre that the film appropriates to such wonderful effect. Well, Ridley Scott is reportedly working on a sequel. And “Just Go” needs to be its “One More Kiss, Dear” moment. Mollie, you know people who know people. Make it happen.

In sum, I freakin’ love Driven. Not that this comes as any surprise – I’m way past critic and deep into fanboy by now. You might like it, too – hit that link at the top to give it a listen.

And now, the first video. Oh my. Mollie loves directing, and she’s having way too much fun with “See You in Hell.”

Categories: Music/Popular Culture

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