Holy Sons' first release, Lost Decade is a collection of songs culled from 1994-1999, a compendium of snapshots of a wayward youth spent ingesting mind-altering substances and delving way too deep into all matters existential alone in a dank, rural North Carolina basement, courtesy of one Emil Amos. As a result, it's the most frenetic and scattershot release in Holy Sons' catalog. Raw, primal, youthfully exuberant and at the same time world-weary, Lost Decade tackles the weighty themes of human consciousness, experience and purpose that can pull, tug and yank constantly on sensitive souls in early adulthood. The recording is hit-and-miss, more from the necessity of a no-budget approach than for any aesthetic reason, which results in an intimacy that will be a continuing theme in all of Holy Sons' work. And the instrumentation is sparse, primarily acoustic guitar and ragged voice (or voices, as the vocals are most always double tracked, not to add studio sheen but to enhance the manic quality of his voice); however, the sound is as full as that of any multi-piece band. "To Abraxas with Headaches" opens with a maniacal bent to Amos' voice that would fit right in on Ween's GodWeenSatan, but that comparison drops with "Of Cain," one of many ruminations on man's relationship with religion. "Supraharmony" demonstrates a gift for delightfully twisted wordplay, whereas "Wounded Son" is a straight-up lo-fi anthem in the Pavement/Archers of Loaf school. And so it goes: even with such a limited (but not limiting) format the album is sonically diverse, and every song is part of the bigger picture of ritualistic mental therapy through obsessive bedroom recording. Lost Decade is merely the first chapter in a fruitful and fascinating body of work (Amos would cringe at calling it a career) that has remained below the radar for far too long.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Brian Way