LostAlone - I'm A UFO In This City

Never let it be said that that the British alt.rock scene sits cosy in the slipstream of the pack-leading US, nervously popping its head out every now and then but rarely showing its true colours. Make way for LostAlone: the Derby three piece demonstrate a collision of influences and ideas, and, boy, do they do things on their own terms. Led by one Steven Battelle, this tight three piece demonstrate tastes that are catholic and an ability that's above and beyond the scene. Their immaculate arrangements are built on crunching riffery, banks of Queen-like vocals, soaring solos, deft multi-tracking. It’s this knowing, but never ironic, approach that accelerates their blend of irresistibly tuneful pop, acid balladry and lengthier mood pieces.

It’s an ambitious but cohesive brew and it all works, but it’s the deeper, darker exploration that really engages. A closing brace that tosses the rulebook sells the LostAlone methodology: ‘We Are The Archaeology Of The Future's Past’ and ‘The Downside Of Heaven Is The Upside Of Hell’ suggest, by dint of their titles alone, that this lot would have been very much at home during the 70s prog wars. By the time the latter’s whiplash riff is sideswiped by the introduction of a young chorister, only to build to euphoric levels over seven scorching minutes, any remaining resistance heads for the window. They got the look (goth-noir - natch), they show enough cross-market savvy (they’ll take scalps at both Reading and Download) to make an impact and in Battelle they have a front man with a bonkers but arresting worldview and a sliver of – gulp – star quality. If, on occasion, the foot slips off the pedal ('Put Pain To Paper' could be anybody), a moment of madness soon rolls up to snag you back. Oh, and if you know of a more intriguing, versatile male rock vocalist working right now, please drop us a line. All told, exceptional.

Overall

RECOMMENDED

8

out of 10

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