Review ·

At least no one can accuse Dennis Lyxzen of redundancy.

[more:]

 

A
member of the punk and hardcore community since 1991, the Umea, Sweden
resident got his start in music with the neo-classic hardcore band
Refused, and in 1998 he moved onto two lighter projects: The
(International) Noise Conspiracy and the Lost Patrol. While T(I)NC
became a political outlet for Lyxzen, the Lost Patrol provided him with
a way of creating music outside of his "day job." Not necessarily
obligated to spread the socialist doctrine to the masses, Lyxzen now
had a second band with which to create music simply for the purpose of
creating music. Lyxzen's Lost Patrol comprised of the
singer-songwriter and a host of outside musicians, forming a collective
of sorts was a huge departure from the '60s-style garage punk of
T(I)NC, and certainly from his earlier work with Refused.

 

The problem with using a second band as a fun outlet is that quality becomes an issue. Songs in the Key of Resistance (2001) retained Lyxzen's anti-capitalist touch and was meant to be in the vein of Billy Bragg, and 2004's Songs About Running Away was
initially written as the result of a bad breakup. There are two main
issues with these releases that are somewhat corrected on the band's
third release: First, Lyxzen is not a singer. He offers one of the best
and most consistent screams ever recorded, but his singing voice is not
smooth enough for him to take on the singer-songwriter role. The second
issue is in content. Between speaking out against capitalism and
wallowing over a lost love, Lyxzen prevented his band from taking on a
clear identity.

 

Now
recording as an official octet (hence the name change from the Lost
Patrol to the Lost Patrol Band), Lyxzen has not only transformed his
project into a pop band, but he has also learned to direct his voice to
a more suitable place. Instead of a soft quiver, he now incorporates
much of the controlled scream found on any T(I)NC record. This works
well to complement the Lost Patrol Band's new style, though ironically,
the music is what prevents this particular album from succeeding. The
band has improved since its days as an acoustic project but now offers
a track list full of cliché lo-fi pop, much like the update on '60s
British garage pop that's been done (and redone) over the last few
years. Granted, it's done fairly well here, but the style has been
abused so heavily since 2003 that it's almost more difficult to get it
wrong at this point. And more important, sugary pop about "that girl"
does nothing but limit the amount of Lyxzen's talent and energy that
should and could be conveyed on a record.

 

This
doesn't have to be a bad year for the Lost Patrol Band, as long as it
can find a more distinct path to follow, and with a new lineup and
sound (and a slightly new band name), it's apparent Lyxzen isn't afraid
to experiment for the sake of making things more interesting. He's
claimed T(I)NC has become more of a job than when it began, so perhaps
the Lost Patrol Band, his relief and creative outlet, will become more
of a priority and eventually incorporate some of the qualities that
made his previous bands so successful. The Lost Patrol Band is by no
means on its way to becoming a neo-classic, but with some more
originality, it may become a decently respected pop group.

 

"Golden Times" mp3

 

"No New Manifesto" mp3 (from 2004's Songs About Running Away)

 

Aftonbladet's article in which Dennis Lyxzen was named the sexiest man in Sweden (2004)

 

Biography on Burning Heart

 

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