LOST BOYS - ONE OF US
Released 4th February 2023 via Crazy Love Records Reviewed by Kate 5th March 2023 Buy the album here: https://www.crazyloverecords.de/.../lost-boys-one-of-us...
An old flatmate of mine once described my music taste as ‘stuff about dead cowboys’ and ‘songs that sound like a man singing down the phone from prison’. While slightly insulting, sadly he was broadly accurate: I do love dark country and the echoier end of the gruff vocal spectrum. I can safely say that the debut album from Orange County based Lost Boys is one hundred percent my taste and walks the line previously taken by Mike Ness and Nick 13 in their solo material. Expect spaghetti western vibes with frantic slap bass under the cover of a bandit-filled night from this one, and it delivers a unique sound that will be rattling in your head like a skeleton for days.
Outer Limits - Wild, surf country guitar introduces this album via a b-movie instrumental. I’m enjoying this trend of opening with an instrumental as a kind of manifesto.
Nothing On Me - Sinister and atmospheric, the slap bass is on another level and the reverb-heavy, decisive vocals flow into a ghostly ‘whoah’ on a track that must be astounding live. It’s a track that’s somehow laid back and confident in the same move.
Bounty - I love the guitar opener and swirling lines as the narrative progresses. It’s the gritty cousin to Ghost Riders in the Sky and the beautify grim, clattering gunslinger anthem of your nightmares.
Devil Ride - Funeral bells and slap bass drive this stagecoach of an instrumental through the badlands between country and psychobilly.
Spiral - Bold American flavours and a cautionary tale about the darkness of addiction drag you into this fast paced track that chimes like a gong. The ups and downs of the tempo and silent points to highlight the pitiful ‘oh no…’ add a dose of tension and drama to this tight track.
The Sale - It’s bright and lonely and chock-full of that wonderful slap bass pop tempered with cymbals forever. The fades and echoes really are brilliant, and this is the point in listening where I realised that while this is psychobilly, it’s some of the most intelligent and innovative psycho I’ve heard in a while.
Out Of My Head - The rhythm section sprints though this number with long, stretched, cursed guitar tones floating overhead. Every member gets a chance to show off in this ensemble tune which
Get A Clue - Moody and vocal driven before sliding into that frantic Lost Boys style, it’s another gorgeous track coloured by desperation and vintage echoes. The rawness of their sound takes a little bit of getting used to but it makes the whole record seem like an undiscovered classic somewhere that’s just had the dust wiped from it.
HB Stoll - They really aren’t afraid to balance their debut between instrumentals and vocal tracks, which is sign of a confident band who knows what they want to achieve from a record. This one is a perky, dark surf track with those clangs and ripples over a skinny, quick rhythm.
El Toreador - My favourite song on the album. An unholy harmony opens up a stripped down cowboy track, originally by the Krewmen, with a harshness on the vocals which hints at a potential for an electric live show. This song proves that a double billing with Guitar Slingers, if such a thing could be possible, would be the most perfect punky cowboy pairing of all time.
Lost Boys are a band just beginning their musical careers, having recorded only one EP before this release, and if they carry on in the direction of One Of Us then they will be a very, very exciting prospect when they come to Europe. They’ve brought some innovative to the psychobilly genre which can seem saturated by songs of ghosts and ghouls, and created a record of brooding, dramatic brilliance.