New York City-based indie-rock trio The Lost Patrol is back with their latest album, “Driven”, and it doesn’t disappoint. This is late-night listening at its best. Mollie Israel’s haunting and gorgeous vocals float over a dense backdrop of swirling guitars and keyboards, lush and ethereal but with an edge. Somebody should get David Lynch or Quentin Tarantino on the phone immediately -- songs like “See You in Hell” or “Little Black Kitten” would be a perfect fit for their disturbed cinematic visions. “Driven” is an apt title; this is road music for lonely highways late at night, or perhaps driving through the city at 3am with all the lights, the strangers roaming the streets, the shadows hiding unknown temptations or terrors (or both).
The Lost Patrol’s sound is uniquely retro and atmospheric; they are part 60s surf-rock, part 90s psychedelic alternative (think less-electronic Garbarge or Curve, with hints of Julee Cruise), filtered through the chiming guitars of Fleetwood Mac’s classic instrumental “Albatross” and then drenched in echo. It’s not overly mellow easy-listening or new age – “Driven” is a rock album, swirling, mysterious, and beautiful.
Standouts include “All Tomorrow’s Parties” with its insistent rhythm, soaring melody and richly layered vocal arrangement. “Chance of Rain” is one of the darker moments – haunting and absolutely lovely, with whirring keyboards that add the perfect surreal touch. “Just Go” is an authentic-sounding take on an old piano bar number from the 40s, and it sounds like it’s coming out of the small speakers of an old-timey radio. “In Too Deep” sounds like something one of Phil Spector’s girl-groups might have put out in the late 60s, complete with the wall-of-sound production, but with a darker edge.
The Lost Patrol is one of those bands that have put out consistently great records for years in relative obscurity while artists with lesser talent spark and fade with regularity. Maybe “Driven” will be the album that pushes them through to the larger audience they deserve. They have a fantastic vibe and this is an album that will definitely reward with repeated listens. Also worth checking out is their extensive back catalog, with albums like “Rocket Surgery,” “Dark Matter,” and – especially – “Launch and Landing” well worth discovering. Highly recommended.