[sic] Magazine

The Lost Patrol – Driven

The return of The Lost Patrol is always welcome. They are one of music’s true originals. Heaven knows there aren’t that many. They hail from Piermont NY, but I have always said that they come from the wrong coastline. Their music is west coast. It’s cowboy, Hollywood and surf. I get frustrated when other writers refer to their music as “ear candy”. It isn’t some ‘pass the time away’, pretty ephemera. It’s serious, quality music. Michael Williams and Stephen Masucci’s guitar axis is so distinctive and Molly Israel’s vocals so perfectly in alignment that it is something of a surprise that there aren’t more Lost Patrol wannabe bands. But yeah, it’s fun, it’s sparkly. Shiny Happy Lost Patrol are back to put a smile on our faces.

And things seem to be going pretty well for TLP these days. Having banged on about their cinematic sound, they’re now getting used in soundtracks. I think they’ve been in Vamps , Chronicle and Gossip Girl . Nice work if you can get it. Maybe there’s more to come? TLP are steeped in 50’s sci fi, American Gothic and drive-in double features. Their own double feature of course being a giddy marriage of siren vocals and sunburst guitars.

The Lost Patrol zing and zang as Molly sings and the Mosrite twangs.

I am so pleased how Mollie Israel has settled into the task of fronting TLP. She really has made the position her own now. My only reservations from the beginning cantered around her vocal prettiness. Could she evoke the danger or bitterness that The Lost Patrol’s music has always dealt in? Driven goes some way to answering this. Yes she can. And does. There are harsher riffs here – (‘See You In Hell’ and ‘Invincible’) At times Driven is less UFO and more ‘FU’, if you get my meaning?

All the songs on Driven are around the three minute mark. ‘Burn Me Down’ is very sweet. ‘Tell Me’ shimmers like a marriage of late period Cocteau Twins and reformation period Chameleons – and should please the fanbase. The whole album will satisfy the fans in fact. Any surprises? Hell yeah, ‘Just Go’ ….goes all honky tonk, ‘tickle the ivories’ jazz club. It’s only a bit of fun before ‘In Too Deep’ drops us back into fifties rock n roll again. ‘Disguise’ closes the album threatening to take us to another level with its epic, ‘Say Hello, Wave Goodbye’ Moog. It’s the classic showbiz trick of leaving us wanting more.

Driven is one of TLP’s strongest collections overall. Maybe there are no standouts as a result, just another solid addition to an already admirable back catalogue. Speaking of which, please don’t try to sell me on the idea of this being their fourth album. It categorically isn’t. I know why people are saying it but I dislike the attempt at airbrushing TLPs previous incarnation out of the bands history. No matter. Driven works. You knew it. I knew it. We all knew it before even playing it. The Lost Patrol albums are a home run, guaranteed.