Loading Posts...

The Lost Patrol – Rocket Surgery

With “Rocket Surgery,” The Lost Patrol (US) have returned with a decisively sci-fi direction in their visual appeal, however their sound is much the same from the last time that we had given them a spin in the Lonesome Sky to Midnight Matinee era.  Though their image may have changed, though only slightly as even “Midnight Matinee” seemed to give off a modestly psych edge in visuals and “Launch and Landing” has an obviously similar theme, they are still creating dreamy, gentle surf rock with a modern shoegaze influence that often leaves the guitarwork and vocals drenched in reverb.  This album specifically once again reaffirms that The Lost Patrol aren’t too dreadfully far from the likes of Cocteau Twins in their lighter moments.  Of course, there is more to their music than just that.  The project is distributed by Projekt which should affirm their shoegaze and darkwave roots but also feature a uniquely surf-edge that has always made them special, an aspect that very few projects share such as the likes of Fennesz in the ambient realm and the newly formed “Yawning Sons.”

There are some subtle sci-fi influences in the sound for the record, especially in regards to Stephen Masucci’s synth style, but for the most part this is another record in line with the groups previous works.  The artwork this time around has been mentioned as being very sci-fi oriented, though the appearance itself is very Earthly.  The image on the front and back covers are actually picturing New York’s “The Unisphere”, a 12-story tall steel sculpture of Earth, located in Flushing Meadows – Corona Park in Queens, New York and is a popular symbol of American culture since it’s construction for the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair.  In the background of the image, shadowed in darkness is the New York State Pavillion, looming in wait and likely falling apart like the rest of it’s surroundings.  “Rocket Surgery” shares a color scheme that is much like Launch and Landing and Midnight Matinée.  Vibrant oranges and pinks/purples dominate the urban landscape pictured with neon textures.  The project themselves are dressed in black, staring in a droning manner towards the camera or the ground — an inhuman look all around with the exception of a subtle smirk from Michael Williams.

While the album is similar to previous efforts as mentioned, I can’t shake the fact that there aren’t many stand-out tracks like there normally are with their works.  Usually a few will hit hard, but “Rocket Surgery” was a bit less moving than I’ve become accustomed to hearing emotionally from the project.  “Lost at Sea” was perhaps the only real gripper with the album, but while it may not be as impressive as some of their earlier works, “Rocket Surgery” still holds on to a charm and a unique style that the project has efficiently developed over the years.  That, in the end, may be a part of the problem for the project though.  Without necessary change, everything will eventually stagnate.  They aren’t at that point yet, and it is of course possible that they’ll never arrive at that sad destination that so many artists fall into.  Some artists don’t need to re-invent themselves, but just find a surge of passion once more.

Track List:

01) Dead of Alive
02) This Road is Long
03) Play with Fire
04) Little Girl
05) Not the Only One
06) Coming Down
07) Sweet Ophelia
08) Lost at Sea
09) 3 AM
10) Don’t give me Love
11) I’m on to you

Rating:  3.5/5
Written by: Sage
Label: Self-released / Digi-CD
Dark Pop / Surfy Shoegaze