Articles - Obsessive/Compulsive
Rock N Roll - Lost Sounds - 08.02.00
Lost Sounds - S/T 7" EP
I kind of feel like an asshole reviewing this 7". It's one of those things where, with only 200 pressed, it's already gone, already a collector's item. I don't wanna come off as being like, "Hey! Look at this cool fucking record I got, but you missed out on." Nah, I'm not into that. It's more a matter of letting you know it's out there. Because of how few people even knew it was out (no advertising, no promos), some distributors might still have copies. Run now to find 'em.
What makes this record, a single by a band you've probably never heard of on a small label in Italy, so sought after? Two words: Jay Reatard.
The first I heard about the Lost Sounds, my friend Andrew in Chicago was telling me about how much they sucked. He saw them live and was totally thrown by the keyboards. Andrew changed his tune after picking up this hot 7". And how right he was to change his opinion, because though I didn't see them live (as far as I can tell, this is just one of Jay's many side projects), these four songs absolutely cook.
As you'd expect from something Jay Reatard is involved with, one of the first things you'll notice upon putting this record on, is the bonafide genuine Memphis slash and burn recording. Perfectly trashy, beautifully blown out. It's like the grooves themselves are smothered in pure hellfire.
Rather than biting, chomping and tearing with sharp teeth, these songs are more like a gnashing, gnawing sensation. With so much echo on the vocals, they sink into the blurry oblivion of the distorted guitars and keyboards.
The first of the four songs, "Plastic Skin," features Mr. Reatard on vocals howling over a mess of guitars that are drowned blue with hair-raising distortion and haunting keyboards that duke it out for lead duties with the guitars. Toward the end of this insane ball of fury, the guitar and bass step back, letting the keyboards squawk a bit before wrapping things up.
"Don't Bother Me," follows, with Alicia taking care of the vocals. Her echo-heavy vocals suit the Lost Sound's songs better, if you ask me. On this one, they use the keyboards more, setting a weird, twisted New Wave hell atmosphere. Image every New Wave fuckhead band with keyboards burning in hell screaming for help, and you have an idea of what it sounds like.
On the flipside, Alicia's cavewoman vocals on the second song, "Lost and Found," really takes the cake. Don't get me wrong, there's not a sleeper among these four songs. It's just that, sitting here with my headphones jammed into my ears, listening to these songs over and over, so loud I can't hear my girlfriend ask if I want another cup of coffee, her vocals stand out, really grabbing me by the throat.
These songs need to be listened to loud. Really. I'm not just saying that because that's what rock 'n' roll fucks say. Another cliche to throw into the mix of words here. Seriously. This 7", like few other records has that special quality of burning rock 'n' roll, flames and all, jumping out of your speakers, melting your needle. Granted, it took me a coupla listens to reach the point where I was killing my eardrums, setting my ears on fire with this record, listening to it over and over, not being able to get enough. But I reached that magic point where you just don't want to stop listening to the record, no matter how many times you have to get off your ass and flip it.
hope Jay and company treat us ALL to more howling, scowling keyboard-riddle
7"s of note:
a 7", you don't have much time to make an impression on the listener.
On this thick-as-a-dinner-plate e.p., the Kamikazes go for the throat
with a scorching Fun Things/Devil Dogs attack. They have studied hard,
learning the key to a killer rock 'n' roll song is to keep the basic melody
simple and catchy but load it up with well-placed hot licks, easy to sing-a-long
lyric, throw in a few handclaps. Bam. However, these guys were obviously
cutting school when the 2 1/2 minute lesson was being taught. The second
song on the first side, "Ain't Coming Close," is good, but could
be cut in half and have way more impact. Still, a good song. They also
lose it on the Real Kids-style ballad "I wanna Be With You."
Ballads should be used sparingly, and never on a single (unless it appears
on the B-Side to a totally knock-your-socks-off A-Side, you know?). It
woulda worked well at the end of the first side of an album or something.
Still, the first song, "Time for Rock 'n' Roll,'' and the last song,
"Friday Night," are reason enough to grab this.
NEXT TIME: Everybody Sexareeno! and the debut single from Firestarter (you know, the band that's 3/4 of Teengenerate!)... Most of these records can be gotten at: Underground Medicine
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