L.S. Dunes – Past Lives
Released: November 11, 2022
Anthony Green // vocals
Frank Iero // guitar
Travis Stever // guitar
Tim Payne // bass
Tucker Rule // drums
In 2003 three of the most significant acts in the post hardcore and emo movement released genre defining and career establishing records which would undeniably help alter, as pioneers of the post hardcore sound Refused exclaimed with the title of their pièce de résistance album: The Shape Of Punk To Come. New Jersey’s Thursday unleashed their commercially most successful LP War All The Time, New York’s Coheed & Cambria delivered their conceivably best full-length In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth: 3 and California’s Saosin introduced themselves to the world with the Translating The Name EP which Alternative Press described as: “The structured post-hardcore elements made Translating The Name one of the most influential works to come out of 2003”.
Irrefutably there are numerous other acts in this realm who contributed to this movement with remarkable music around the same time; furthermore it can be contended how “punk” these outfits actually are in terms of identity – they would all agree that they don’t sound like The Ramones. However, their collective spirit is driven by the influence of punk, all of the acts have played the Vans Warped Tour also known as the “Punk Rock Summer Camp” and even the Collins English Dictionary chronicles the term as: “Punk or punk rock is rock music that is played in a fast, loud and aggressive way and is often a protest against conventional attitudes and behaviour.” – The evidence is certainly justifiable.
2004 then comes around and a disorderly emotional gothic hardcore punk band from New Jersey called My Chemical Romance unveils upon the world 13 songs that combined became a record entitled Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge and as the lyrics in the fourth track ‘You Know What They Do To Guys Like Us In Prison’ read: “Life will never be the same”. It wasn’t – 2022 marks at least 18 years since all of these monumental artworks bolstered alternative music as we knew it, the question in our current day and age is: How can this be acknowledged and celebrated?
Introducing L.S. Dunes featuring Anthony Green (Saosin, Circa Survive) on vocals, Frank Iero (My Chemical Romance) and Travis Stever (Coheed & Cambria) on guitars and Thursday’s Tucker Rule and Tim Payne on drums and bass respectively. Their debut album is fittingly entitled Past Lives – however these Past Lives are not necessarily coming back to haunt you, unless that notion is in a positive sentiment; to a greater degree these Past Lives are here to FLAUNT you.
Opener ‘2022’ demands immediate attention and awe – a hybrid of the heavier side of juvenile Saosin transfused with Circa Survive’s Decensus album, Mr. Green croons and screeches his pain in reflection of his and the world’s recent adversities. For the quintet themselves, there was a possibility these “lifer” musicians may never actually perform live again in the wake of COVID; the impact of this virus on Planet Earth does not require further discussion. For Anthony himself, his battles with heroin addiction and personal turmoil animate his delivery, whether the lyrics are in reference to these struggles or not, his experiences compound and electrify what is being sung. There is a lot to uncover and absorb here sensationally, what is more remarkable is this is only the first track of the album.
‘Antibodies’ approaches more modern Saosin territory with moments of the criminally underrated The Receiving End Of Sirens shining through, ‘Grey Veins’ follows this paradigm but with a fantastic injection of the raw moments in earlier Coheed releases, then to complete the trilogy of sorts, ‘Like Forever’ calls upon MCR energy in parts but perhaps switch the middle “C” with Cambria just to properly understand its aura.
‘Blender’ has a duel guitar metallic edge that ventures into the vicinity of DRI before it begins to weave around more progressive rock and even progressive metal soundscapes. In a sense, it is the heaviest humming drone the five-piece have crafted, yet it has a delightful delicacy. The title track allows the experimental post hardcore element of Thursday to direct with a proper value, think A City By The Light Divided era but with absolutely no limitations. ‘It Takes Time’ is another throwback to earlier Saosin, although if this were an orchestra, the composer could be Portugal. The Man before their indie-pop transformation.
‘Bombsquad’ emits an almost jazz improvisation vitality, although there is nothing to suggest it is of the jazz genre at all. The dynamism and chemistry between the band members showcased is immeasurable, it wouldn’t be a surprise if this track was written or recorded in a single take and it is genius.
‘Grifter’ is the song that Tides Of Man wish they wrote and ‘Permanent Rebellion’ is L.S. Dunes embracing the aforementioned Collins English Dictionary “punk” definition – fast, loud, aggressive and unbound by rules. For this writer, this is the full-length’s peak and a real definition of the thrown around term: “Post modern hardcore”.
To conclude this extended journey of brilliantly profound post hardcore is an artistic alchemy that is unpredictable: ‘Sleep Cult’ is a tribute piece of sorts to the 1956 single ‘In The Still Of The Night’ by Fred Parris And The Satins. It is eerie, esoteric and most importantly elegant. The eloquence of this bizarre creation doesn’t require analysis or examination, just enjoyment – the original single is timeless, this extension contributes to how breath-taking music is capable of being, regardless of era.
Past Lives is the title of the album, it is also in a sense the recognition of the band members’ history – in actuality though, this isn’t history being rewritten, it is the future being risen.
L.S. Dunes – Past Lives tracklisting:
3. Grey Veins
4. Like Forever
6. Past Lives
7. It Takes Time
10. Permanent Rebellion
11. Sleep Cult