The Lost Patrol: Songs About Running Away

Jason MacNeil

The Lost Patrol

Songs About Running Away

Label: Burning Heart
US Release Date: 2004-01-20
UK Release Date: 2003-06-09

The Lost Patrol seems to be eons away from the International Noise Conspiracy's brand of revved up punk-soul. But the group is led by the same person, namely lead singer and songwriter Dennis Lyxzen. "I wanted to do a singer-songwriter record that was more Black Flag than Simon & Garfunkel," Lyxzen says in the advance press for the record. So I guess the main question is whether the INC's singer can pull it off without hitches? Well, in a way yes, and in a way no.

The Lost Patrol opens with an alt-country, roots-driven, Americana flavor for "No New Manifesto". The track contains just a slight hint of jazz within it, thanks to Jonas Kullhammar's clarinet playing. "No one can hear what I hear, everybody understands", Lyxzen sings in the mid-tempo reflective piece. It's definitely a turn of sound from his other group, but the follow-up to Lost Patrol's Songs in the Key of Resistance gets off to a good start. The jazz overtones bring to mind British bands such as the Beautiful South -- pop-oriented but with adult contemporary oeuvres. "Out of Date" continues this theme and is far more subdued, with more clarinet and piano solos encompassing the bridge. The singer's voice doesn't seem suited to the song, however, which is a bit puzzling.

A lot of the album lacks intensity and resembles a series of homemade demos more than anything else. The softer, singer-songwriter format is splendid on the sparse voice and acoustic guitar tune "The Way Things Are". Take away the jazz element and the songs are far more profound and deep. Lyxzen could throw an occasional curve by screaming some lyrics, but he never does. The song is an early high moment. Thankfully this continues with a poppy, bouncy Brit-pop party tune in "Alright". Featuring Lisa Miskovsky on accompanying and quasi-lead vocal, the song comes to life early and often. However, things are taken down with the mediocre "Left and Leaving Blues", with Lyxzen trying to reincarnate Gram Parsons.

When the Lost Patrol go for broke, often times they are greatly rewarded. This is true of the '70s romantic folk-pop style of "Restating the Obvious". Soft and at times very inviting, the band hits its stride on this song. "I just want you to call, knock on my door", Lyxzen sings behind a paper-thin piano solo. The duet between Miskovsky and Lyxzen is quite special, each complementing the other perfectly. But for every great nugget there are some tedious moments, particularly with the pale "Going Going Gone", a schmaltzy track that might be better with a harder, guitar rock arrangement. It's generally Belle and Sebastian minus the hooks. Fortunately, they get back to goodness with the softer, simpler "The Last Goodbye", a late-Beatles-like ballad circa "Norweigan Wood" that oozes quality from top to bottom.

The last half of side two is a so-so mix of filler and flash. "Something Missing" is basically Lyxzen trying to pour his heart out, but it resembles a campfire song more than anything else. This is also true later on during the acoustic ballad "Same Heart That Will Tear Me Apart", a somber song that possibly Coldplay or Ron Sexsmith could pull off to far greater effect. The closest the Lost Patrol come to sounding like International Noise Conspiracy is the gyrating-inducing "200 Reasons Why", a guitar-light but rhythm-driven pop song. The sing-a-long quality is toned down, but it should really kick ass in a live setting. Wrapping up the dozen is "Desperate Attempts", which seems a fitting title. The Lost Patrol succeed in such attempts, but it isn't quite as consistent as one might hope for. A unique and interesting departure from Lyxzen's day job.

So far J. J. Abrams and Rian Johnson resemble children at play, remaking the films they fell in love with. As an audience, however, we desire a fuller experience.

As recently as the lackluster episodes I-III of the Star Wars saga, the embossed gold logo followed by scrolling prologue text was cause for excitement. In the approach to the release of any of the then new prequel installments, the Twentieth Century Fox fanfare, followed by the Lucas Film logo, teased one's impulsive excitement at a glimpse into the next installment's narrative. Then sat in the movie theatre on the anticipated day of release, the sight and sound of the Twentieth Century Fox fanfare signalled the end of fevered anticipation. Whatever happened to those times? For some of us, is it a product of youth in which age now denies us the ability to lose ourselves within such adolescent pleasure? There's no answer to this question -- only the realisation that this sensation is missing and it has been since the summer of 2005. Star Wars is now a movie to tick off your to-watch list, no longer a spark in the dreary reality of the everyday. The magic has disappeared… Star Wars is spiritually dead.

Keep reading... Show less

This has been a remarkable year for shoegaze. If it were only for the re-raising of two central pillars of the initial scene it would still have been enough, but that wasn't even the half of it.

It hardly needs to be said that the last 12 months haven't been everyone's favorite, but it does deserve to be noted that 2017 has been a remarkable year for shoegaze. If it were only for the re-raising of two central pillars of the initial scene it would still have been enough, but that wasn't even the half of it. Other longtime dreamers either reappeared or kept up their recent hot streaks, and a number of relative newcomers established their place in what has become one of the more robust rock subgenre subcultures out there.

Keep reading... Show less

​'The Ferryman': Ephemeral Ideas, Eternal Tragedies

The current cast of The Ferryman in London's West End. Photo by Johan Persson. (Courtesy of The Corner Shop)

Staggeringly multi-layered, dangerously fast-paced and rich in characterizations, dialogue and context, Jez Butterworth's new hit about a family during the time of Ireland's the Troubles leaves the audience breathless, sweaty and tearful, in a nightmarish, dry-heaving haze.

"Vanishing. It's a powerful word, that"

Northern Ireland, Rural Derry, 1981, nighttime. The local ringleader of the Irish Republican Army gun-toting comrades ambushes a priest and tells him that the body of one Seamus Carney has been recovered. It is said that the man had spent a full ten years rotting in a bog. The IRA gunslinger, Muldoon, orders the priest to arrange for the Carney family not to utter a word of what had happened to the wretched man.

Keep reading... Show less

Aaron Sorkin's real-life twister about Molly Bloom, an Olympic skier turned high-stakes poker wrangler, is scorchingly fun but never takes its heroine as seriously as the men.

Chances are, we will never see a heartwarming Aaron Sorkin movie about somebody with a learning disability or severe handicap they had to overcome. This is for the best. The most caffeinated major American screenwriter, Sorkin only seems to find his voice when inhabiting a frantically energetic persona whose thoughts outrun their ability to verbalize and emote them. The start of his latest movie, Molly's Game, is so resolutely Sorkin-esque that it's almost a self-parody. Only this time, like most of his better work, it's based on a true story.

Keep reading... Show less

There's something characteristically English about the Royal Society, whereby strangers gather under the aegis of some shared interest to read, study, and form friendships and in which they are implicitly agreed to exist insulated and apart from political differences.

There is an amusing detail in The Curious World of Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn that is emblematic of the kind of intellectual passions that animated the educated elite of late 17th-century England. We learn that Henry Oldenburg, the first secretary of the Royal Society, had for many years carried on a bitter dispute with Robert Hooke, one of the great polymaths of the era whose name still appears to students of physics and biology. Was the root of their quarrel a personality clash, was it over money or property, over love, ego, values? Something simple and recognizable? The precise source of their conflict was none of the above exactly but is nevertheless revealing of a specific early modern English context: They were in dispute, Margaret Willes writes, "over the development of the balance-spring regulator watch mechanism."

Keep reading... Show less
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.