L.S. Dunes
Past Lives


3.8
excellent

Review

by Rowan5215 STAFF
November 7th, 2022 | 64 replies


Release Date: 11/11/2022 | Tracklist

Review Summary: it feels electric when we sing

When I reviewed Anthony Green's incredible solo album Boom. Done. this year, I wrote that the album found him "asserting his will to live and keep creating music" in spite of the darkness explored in the lyrics. "It's not about my relationship with drugs or people, it's about my relationship with myself", I quoted Green by way of illustrating the inward-facing nature of the project. I say this in order to contextualise Past Lives: the album doesn't feature Green's name on the cover, instead being credited to a supergroup which he was reportedly the last to join, yet there is connective tissue linking it to Boom. Done. which enriches and deepens both albums.

Let's start with the obvious: Past Lives opener "2022" is a reworked song from Boom. Done., mysteriously taken off streaming a few weeks after release for reasons which are now obvious. The original cut was stark and desolate, just Green and a guitar with barely a whisper of brass in the background, whereas the new version doesn't waste a second announcing the energy levels L.S. Dunes will be operating at. The enviable rhythm section from genre titans Thursday kick things off with an absolutely filthy bass tone from Tim Payne and strong anchoring from Tucker Rule, while Coheed and Cambria's Travis Stever and My Chemical Romance's Frank Iero trade elegantly intertwined guitar parts that make you wonder how they've never shared a track before now. Green's vocal over the top is more akin to a snarl, barking out heartwrenching lines about a suicide attempt like he's trying to exorcise his demons by sheer force of performance. The lyrics and melody remain unchanged, but we couldn't be further afield from the original "2022", which is Past Lives all over - familiar styles and modes of performance, given new life by the nature of their collaboration.

From there the album continues largely straightforward but nonetheless absolutely thrilling. Politically-minded cuts "Grifter" and "Bombsquad" pick up the territory where Circa Survive's tortured "Impostor Syndrome" left off, lamenting the January 6 Capitol riots and our general dystopian-adjacent hellscape of a daily life. The helplessness and fury of these songs is somewhat balanced by the more personal moments of "2022" and "Sleep Cult", but there's no doubt Past Lives is a grim and cynical album, five seasoned musicians showing their teeth without smiling at a world that seems to get darker every day. Cuts like "Grey Veins" lean towards an oldschool rock 'n' roll aesthetic that is likely credit to Stever and Iero, while furious post-hardcore ragers "Like Forever" and "Permanent Rebellion" will likely satiate those still mourning the gap Circa Survive left behind when they announced their hiatus. It's the slowburning duo of "Blender" and the title track that will likely stick in the craws of those skeptical of the whole supergroup thing; they're the perfect middle ground between all the present musicians and their respective styles, true collaborative songs which sit rightly in the middle of the album as an axis around which the rest can revolve.

A production job from genre mainstay Will Yip thankfully finds him back in a sweet spot, with a dry and smooth mix which balances Green's powerhouse performance with the work from all the instrumentalists evenly. Past Lives isn't exactly full of surprises, but it doesn't need to be to succeed as a mission statement for a new band who seem to be around to stay, if rumours of new material brewing are any indication. Every member of L.S. Dunes is in their element even after respective years of being legends in the genre, and if a future project can drill down on the energy found in "Blender" or the bizarre but deeply affecting "Sleep Cult", they may still have some of their best work ahead.



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user ratings (109)
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Odal
November 7th 2022


1364 Comments


I'm so damn hype for this, great review

Green really does seem to be going through a bit of Rennaissance rn. Don't think he's had as strong a run of albums since the late 2000's

Cormano
November 7th 2022


3803 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I knew this would be your write up row, nice

can't wait to jam this one and seeing them next week

brandaao
November 7th 2022


196 Comments


Great Review!
Really curious about this album. Can't wait to check it out this weekend.


WatchItExplode
November 7th 2022


10021 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Looking forward to this. Whatever the first single is it absolutely ruled

SaveBandit
November 7th 2022


2948 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Super stoked to hear this in full. Honestly can't remember the last time I was this excited for a debut album.

MoM
November 8th 2022


1681 Comments


“The Amulet in 2017 really caught my attention.”

Same. Which was a great surprise, cause Circa had been so important to me, but Violent Waves and Descensus didn’t do much for me and I’d given up on the idea that they’d make anything new that I’d really love.

Excited for this album. Thursday, Circa, My Chem, and Coheed have all been my favourite band at one point


Also, great review!

MoM
November 8th 2022


1681 Comments


Gonna have to get in the right headspace and revisit some Circa

nash1311
November 8th 2022


5396 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I’m actually expecting to be lukewarm on this. Only really dug one single. Hope the rest is better

Nbehre11
November 8th 2022


277 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

HYPE. Cannot wait to listen to this in full.

Zeiu
November 9th 2022


262 Comments


Love the new 2022 song. Awesome. Excited for this.

Cormano
November 9th 2022


3803 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

^wth i didnt know that was happening as well, that's quite the streak for anthony

MoM
November 9th 2022


1681 Comments


^^ I didn’t either! Holy shit

Nbehre11
November 9th 2022


277 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

New single from TSOAF on November 16th

botb
November 9th 2022


16104 Comments


Can’t wait to hear that TSOAF track, might check this in the meantime tho

MoM
November 9th 2022


1681 Comments


Pulling my crotch from my chonies level of excitement for a new Animals release

onionbubs
November 10th 2022


16662 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

did not quite click w this as much as i was hoping but its still quite good

SlothcoreSam
November 10th 2022


5292 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Like Forever is a great tune, first listen through thought it s pretty solid, but nothing special.

onionbubs
November 10th 2022


16662 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i am far from disappointed tho this is def a good time j a lil samey. also the bar is j crazy high for ant material this year

nash1311
November 10th 2022


5396 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

TSOAF is an EP By the way not a full album iirc

gravityswitch
November 10th 2022


1426 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hypest lp of the year, I'm READY



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