Shapes Of Screams
07 April 2014
by Gavin Lloyd
It’s no secret that Derby three piece LostAlone have had lofty ambitions far greater than their relatively humble current status. Despite garnering plenty of praise over the past few years and notable fans such as My Chemical Romance’s Frank Iero singing their praises, this adulation hasn’t crossed over to a larger audience, but it hasn’t stopped the band setting their sights on breaking out of the UK toilet circuit.
From album opener ‘Crusaders’ it becomes immediately apparent that LostAlone are dealing in the sort of larger than life rock perfected by Queen and their contemporary heirs such as Muse and Black Parade-era My Chemical Romance. Five minutes of falsetto backing vocals, marching drums and a riff that sounds like it’s been plucked straight out of Matt Bellamy’s recycling bin set the tone for what’s to follow.
They certainly get a gold star for effort. The irresistible big pop chorus of ‘Apathy’ and the urgent energy of ‘Scarlet Letter Rhymes’ see them make a very real threat to be playing the enormodomes these songs were so obviously written to be showcased in.
Conversely there are also moments that will keep the security at Wembley from letting them load their gear too soon. Front man Steven Battelle’s vocal melodies are unquestionably unique and while sometimes they work fantastically, other times they really don’t. The rhythmic nature of his delivery on ‘Sombre Party (Legacy)’ is as clunky as it is irritating, making his vocals seem like nothing more than a necessary building block of the song.
It’s with this point that lies the album’s overbearing flaw. It all seems so forced, like a conscience effort to make music in this template. Heart and soul is what makes writing a song different from constructing flat plan furniture, but many of these songs feel more like the latter. The wailing solos of ‘Hostages (Destiny)’ and the strings and trumpets of ‘Mental Health’ seem stuck in for the sake of it. An industrialised process rather than an art form.
Furthermore music needs its peaks and troughs, and with every song here trying to sound as big as possible it results in desensitisation to it. Even a Bon Jovi concert will have its sombre moments. While the layered vocals of album closer ‘Breathing In The Future Exhalation’ may make you feel like you’ve just saved the world from an alien invasion, the journey to this point isn’t quite the thrill ride Will Smith went through in Independence Day.
Sounds Like: Queen, Muse, My Chemical Romance (The Black Parade years)
Standout Tracks: Apathy, Scarlett Letter Rhymes, Breathing In The Future Exhalation