These are exciting times we live in, folks. 2019 will bring many, many highly anticipated albums from artists we all know and love, hopefully providing much-needed publicity for rock and heavy metal as a collective scene. That being said, the real salvation of rock and roll will come not from bands we already know… it will come from the ones who struggle to get recognized. The ones who woodshed and work hard to nail the sound they hear in their heads, then go out and play every club and dive bar from here to Dead Horse, Alaska, hoping to get seen by someone that will give them a chance at the big time. Those bands are where the embers of rock music are kept safe, the light of their amber glow flickering with the promise of future glory. There are hundreds of these bands all over the world, all poised to do their part to change rock music history, and we are fortunate enough to have several of these groups right here under our nose in Corpus Christi. If you come to JG’z Vape Lounge on Friday, Feb. 1st, you’ll see great local bands like Lost and Faded, Forever Falling, A Simple Jester, and Favor for a Friend!
Lost and Faded will be promoting the official release of their latest “3P” , entitled Searching Shorelines. The band has opted to release a series of EP’s throughout the year instead of recording and releasing a full debut album, a trend that is slowly catching fire within the industry as a means to keep new music out there while keeping in step with the notoriously short attention spans of the youth of our generation. What better way is there to ensure that each individual song is listened to and appreciated for what it is? We aren’t far away from bands releasing “concept EP’s”, three or four-song themed releases that each tell a short story, opening the door for musical anthologies about all kinds of things. Like I said, exciting times.
Lost and Faded was kind enough to give South Texas Sound Project an advanced digital copy of Searching Shorelines , promising that it was their best work yet. They didn’t lie. Vocalist Mitch Hackleman, guitarist Rene Vela, bass player JP Benavides, and “borrowed” drummer Robert Garza (of Shattered Sun fame) have grown considerably in the last year, and this EP is a testament to the hard work they’ve put into their songwriting and performance, as well as the evolution of the sound that has become their signature.
Searching Shorelines opens up with “Undertow”, a 90’s alternative throwback to the days of crunchy guitar riffs, pleading vocals, and really chill bridge instrumentals. The song is well-written and structured, and the bridge adds another layer of emotional complexity. However, the vocals feel thin, and a little more vocal confidence could bring out a lot more depth in the song. It’s still quite catchy, and it’d make a great summer radio jam for those cruises to the beach. Did I mention the guitar riffs yet? Because “Dead Inside” opens with a doozy of a riff, as if Vela is trying to break straight through your eardrums and right into your cerebrum. The drum and bass performance really shine on this track, providing hard-hitting rhythm to a standout performance by Hackleman. When a band plays to the strengths of each member like this, everyone wins, especially the listener. The band saves the best for last, and final track, “Tearing Me Apart” is a hell of a high note to end on. Within the first 30 seconds of the track, I was blown away… it wasn’t Incubus, wasn’t the Foo Fighters, but it was at that level of quality, a marriage of introspective creativity and soulful execution. The intro riff by Vela is hauntingly beautiful, and as soon as Hackleman begins to sing, it’s evident that he’s feeling the music. Benavides and Garza lay down a solid beat that is thick enough to cut and serve with coffee, and the track is pummeled by the snare snaps and cymbal crashes from start to finish. Harmonized vocals, a catchy chorus, and an insistent performance by the band as a whole, “Tearing Me Apart”, with some slight tweaking, could be a game-changer for Lost and Faded. This EP shows major growth and a sense of identity, so don’t sleep on this band!
There really isn’t a better time to discover a band than when they’re chasing down their dreams. They’re working their asses off to learn, to grow, and to get better, and there’s so many of those bands right here in Corpus Christi. Go out to JG’z Vape Lounge on Feb. 1st, check out all the amazing local talent we have here, pick up the new Lost and Faded EP, Searching Shorelines, and you’ll see exactly what I mean.