It’s snowing out. No, I’m not kidding. We went from 80 degrees earlier this week to a cold snow which, at times, is blowing around so much it looks like a bit of a blizzard. Although I like the coziness this brings, I’m frustrated by it all because I was honestly so in love with the warm sun hitting my skin. I’m frustrated by this whole situation and my work situation and just my life situation– I’m frustrated so here we are, needing a new soundtrack to fit this frustration and I think I found it in Lives Lost’s brand new EP, ‘A Portrait of Loss’.
Right off the bat, this EP starts with a sense of beauty. Echoed vocals kick the album off in “Insomniac” and I was instantly catapulted into a lush and atmospheric world. As this song gains momentum, I can tell that this entire five song EP won’t be the same lush feeling but I appreciated that this is the way Lives Lost kick things off. This slow and somber song tells a beautiful story (which I obviously will not give away because I want you to listen to this EP) and filled me with an odd sense of nostalgia. Although I can’t quite place that nostalgia, I feel like the vocals are very telling of what’s to come with the other songs. There’s a slight emo pop-punk quality to them that reminds me of bands from the early 2000s angsty era which had me so excited to see what would come next.
As suspected, things instantly become more chaotic as the album moves into the second track, “Jonny Romeo”. With a very Scary Kids Scaring Kids meets Chiodos vibe, I was instantly in love with everything about this song. It’s intense and aggressive but the amount of heart that comes through with every beat is staggering. Must like bands from years gone by, the balance that Lives Lost has found between clean and screamed vocals is perfect. It helps not only convey the story that the band is telling throughout this album but also shows how multi-faceted this band is. “Jonny Romeo” is a song that is truly going to put Lives Lost on the map. It’s not that I’m not excited to hear the other three tracks on this all-too-quick-EP but it’s more that this song is just so flawless and has all the makings of a perfectly nostalgic yet modern feeling melodic post-hardcore meets emo track. Listen until the very end of this song. The final note is something that I went back and listened to multiple times before moving on. No, I’m not kidding. This one final note is this track is nothing short of a chef’s kiss.
“Equivalent Exchange” continues to dig into Lives Lost’s sound but with a bit more emphasis on the chaos of the band. Although “Jonny Romeo” was absolutely aggressive and in your face (in a perfect way), “Equivalent Exchange” seems to bring a bit more angst to the stage. Even with that, the rises and falls of emotion and power throughout this nearly four-minute long song are dramatic and perfectly placed. Typically I pay super close attention to the vocals and specifically, the words, of a song but, when it comes to Lost Lives, I feel like they have such a great way of conveying the emotion through the instrumentation that I didn’t have to really listen that closely to the words. That being said, when I did finally hone in on the vocals, I was not let down. I wouldn’t call “Equivalent Exchange” a traditionally catchy track but there’s something about the guitar part in this song that did instantly become an earworm for me and that’s not a complaint at all.
I was loving the aggression and power behind “Jonny Romeo” and “Equivalent Exchange” that the beginning of “Webs (En Memoria)” really caught me off guard. With a more acoustic base at the beginning, this song really dives deeper into that more tender and lush side of Lives Lost that was laid out on the opening song. The acoustic leaning sound doesn’t last long and the song quickly shifts into a very heavy yet still lush sound. The straight-up power of this song left me lost for words. Sure, the power in the instrumentation and specifically the drums is clear but there’s also this amazing sense of power that comes from the vocals. Not just the way they are being presented but also in the words that they are singing (or screaming depending on the part of the song you’re listening to). There are little breaks in the heaviness of the chorus that really caught me right in the feelings.
Unfortunately, like that sunshine and summer weather we had for a couple of days this week, all good things must come to an end and ‘A Portrait of Loss’ from Lives Lost ends with the title track. Instead of drifting off, Lives Lost makes the choice to leave you with a song that will cover you in deep thoughts while making you want to shove the cat next to you (or you know, whatever). Out of all of the songs on this EP, “A Portrait of Loss” is probably the best example of the balance that Lives Lost has perfected. This song seems to consist of some of the heaviest lows and brightest highs on this album and the way that they are meshed together to create this four minute long song is truly genius.
‘A Portrait of Loss’ is a quick listen so don’t come at me with any excuses as to why you couldn’t check this out. Lives Lost has a sound that bridges the gap between nostalgia and modern that just has to be heard, not read about. So turn up the volume and hit play on this amazing five song EP and, while you’re at it, show Lost Lives some love!
My Favorite Track(s): “Jonny Romeo”
For Fans Of: Nostalgic Emo With a Melodic Post-Hardcore Edge; Brilliant Songwriting; Heartfelt Lyrics
Mosh-ability: 9 out of 10
What My Cats Thought Of It: Artie slept right next to my arms on my desk; Autumn slept on the back of the couch; Alfie slept in my lap
How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 10 out of 10
My Overall Rating: 9.6 out of 10
Check Out Lives Lost here:
Check Out ‘A Portrait of Loss’ HERE!
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