Lost Light

Old Time Relijun

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Lost Light Review

by Richie Unterberger

A little angst goes a long way, and in Arrington DeDionyso's case, he got a whole career out of it. It would be foolish to expect him to be mellowing out after more than a decade in the business, and Lost Light delivers the tense goods you'd expect. The stripped-down-sounding trio of DeDionyso, double bassist Aaron Hartman, and drummer Rives Elliot plays taut funk-punk rhythms behind the frontman's yelps, which sound like a fire-and-brimstone sermonizer who's definitely taken a turn for the darker side. It's music of integrity, but not of great variety, recalling some of the more atonal aspects of the early New York punk-new wave scene, perhaps with a funkier bent and an even gloomier outlook, as if Jandek had decided to get a real band together. Images of closed doors, vampires, immersion in threatening waters, "10,000 tigers gnashing teeth," and the like permeate the songs, the hellish organ of "Cold Water" adding to the sense of impending doom. Not a cheerful listen, no siree. But the band isn't all about vocal thrash, throwing in arty instrumentals to keep listeners a little off balance -- "Music of the Spheres" has some eerie upper-register tinkles and wildly upward zoom guitar slides atop the thud, and "Cold Water, Deep Underwater" is a little like the most way-out early Velvet Underground instrumentals in its gnarly guitar textures.

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