Thursday December 14th 2017

The Lost Riots – “About You b/w We Were Wrong”

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The Lost Riots – “About You b/w We Were Wrong”

 

The Lost Riots gave me my favorite album/EP review of last year. That’s saying something as I complete some 45 odd music reviews each year. And yeah, maybe “odd” is not an untrue term to describe them, but fuckin’ spectacular is more like it- meaning, I review lotsa truly, great bands with truly, great music each year.

So when the singer of this band, Jeffrey Thunders, sent me this two song “EP” to check out, I gave him the thumbs up.

But really I thought, too few songs, I’m not gonna review this- I like to have at least four songs to review, or at least three- I’m probably wrong but I don’t recall settling for two songs before.

That is until now.

I’ve always believed in quality over quantity- isn’t that part of the punk rock creed? Shorter songs, no solos, no self-indulgence, less words, less chords but ending up with more meaning and impact.

So though I’d much rather be reviewing some double album sprawl with virtuoso guitar masturbations spurting gooey stuff all over my ears. Let’s instead settle for something more simple, how about we call it a single with a b-side?

“About You” starts out with three smashing chords, you know, like “Teenage Wasteland” by The Who, but to me they ring out “Sweet Jane” by Lou Reed which is a great reference. Soon we’re assaulted with crashing beats and bashing guitars and lyrics that go, “Everyday I sit and think about you. Everyday I sit and drink about you…Now, I wonder where it all went wrong. As I wonder how if all fell apart?” As the obligatory “Wooh-oh-oh’s” bellow off in the distance, we’re soon brought towards to a little breakdown. “Everything you put me through.” But, soon enough, were once again getting hammered with the first lines of the song. Everyday I drink and think about what a cold, cruel world we’ve been cast into and then, once in a while, I hear a song that’s so perfect, real and true that it makes me forget and makes me feel that it’s all worthwhile.

“We Were Wrong” starts with a bouncy, beatific rhythm like an over-caffeinated Bo Didly beat. And soon we’re shot into overdrive with a trilling, melodic guitar riff- so good it’s worthy of the Buzzcocks. The vocals remind me of Bon Scott of AC/DC which is pretty, great. Jeffrey’s vocals remind me of how in the early punk days- every band had a distinctive singer and his voice stands out today. “We were young and we were wrong, living through we admit our faults.” I could make a long list of mistakes, I made, when I was young but I still feel that this life is wrong, not our innocent follies and ways. “You were young and thinking-you got life by the balls. Now you pay for it everyday.” I don’t think I’m wrong in claiming that this song is hard and vulnerable, ecstatic and despairing, bitter and sweet and nostalgic but totally in the present now. There’s a breakdown with the bass and drums and those wooh-oh-oh’s sneaking in. I was young (once) and I was wrong but never when it concerned the music that I chose to love, history has shown that the punk music I chose was the best of the batch, and I believe I’m still being right choosing bands and songs like this.

The Lost Riots are from New Haven, CT but we all know that there and New Jersey are just suburbs of Manhattan. I say this because The Lost Riots just bleed the essence of old East Village streets and contains every ounce of sweat and pleasure that happened in The Bowery, decades ago. But the city’s realness, heartbreak and desperation, the joy and oblivion recklessness oozes out of every note, every pore, every sound of this two song EP.

From the black and white photography, from the bleak, regretful lyrics, to the whiplash slash of the guitars, to the rumble of the drums, to the core of your very essence and being. These two songs blare the beat of East Coast cities successes and defeats. Echoes the sounds of the streets where it was born and connects within my heart to where I’m not being told how to feel but where my feelings are being reflected.

I’ve only two songs about to write about here, maybe I should have done this review with two words. Yeah, like Fuck You! (Ha, Ha.) But really, maybe I would pick pure and true. Yeah, that sounds about right. I don’t know a lot but I do know that this “EP” is making it into my top ten of the year.

But if I’m gonna settle for two words, just like I had to settle for two songs, I’m gonna have to go with “fuckin’ spectacular.”

(Slimedog)

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