Lost Avenue - Fears (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Lost Avenue

Fears (2018)

Little Rocket Records

Northern Ireland trio Lost Avenue keep moving forward on their debut LP Fears. The album finds the band in familiar territory, continuing the “punk avant-garde” style which they have cultivated over the past eight years.

That isn’t to say that Lost Avenue hasn’t progressed or evolved. While Fears is clearly a LA album, full of dramatic composition and sudden musical switches to keep you on your toes, it also displays a growing maturity in the band, with songs that are a bit less frenetic than on previous releases and an overall coherency and theme through the ten tracks that one would expect on a full length. This differs from the more eclectic style of the their earlier releases.

Lead track “Fears” is quintessential Lost Avenue, and “Audrey” still encapsulates the band’s intriguing composition process. However, third track “Heard You Say,” features a surprisingly un-Lost Avenue-like bopping rhythm during the verses which caught me off guard in a pleasant way. I don't normally expect to tap my foot when listening to Lost Avenue, but, there you are. “Self Esteem” has a thumping beat and bass line and cadence that made me think of classic Pegboy, with Dylan Bradley’s unique voice instead of Larry Damore.

“Echoes,” the eighth song of the album, starts off with a lo-fi acoustic before building into a crescendo of fury and volume that makes it my favorite song on the album. Whereas the finale, “The Start of the Show,” is a powerful yet low tempo end to the album, in some ways counter-intuitively cooling you down after the exertion of the previous tracks.

A bit surprisingly, Fears comes off as a bit more tame than earlier Lost Avenue releases. For some this may be a turn-off but, to be honest, I knew the band had to break one way or the other at some point in order to progress. To be even more honest, I like what they are doing so much that I would’ve taken them moving in either direction. They still have a sense of composition which brings to mind the melodrama of post-punk luminaries Shudder to Think, if only in substance if not style. Like a lot of bands at this point in their career, Lost Avenue has mellowed out, if only a little bit. That doesn’t make their music any less pleasurable and, on their first full-length, they’ve stuck the landing with a set of ten excellent tracks.