Long Lost – Save Yourself, Start Again
Record Label: No Sleep Records
Release Date: August 6th 2013
Side projects are an interesting concept within music, because most of the time, the side project usually sounds different from the artist’s “regular” band. For instance, Fall Out Boy is my favorite band, and when frontman Patrick Stump unveiled his pop/R&B solo project, I was ecstatic, because I love both Patrick Stump and pop/R&B. I still enjoy Fall Out Boy more, but the fact is, side projects can be just as great, if not better, than the “regular” band that artist is apart of.
Another pop-punk band that I’m a huge fan of is Boston’s Transit, and 2011’s Listen & Forgive not only featured Patrick Stump on a track, but is also one of my favorite albums of all time. I absolutely adore that album, and for good reason. Needless to say, it was rather exciting when it was announced that frontman Joe Boynton started up a new band with some other musicians called Long Lost. This band is much more rooted in indie rock, rather than pop-punk. Listen & Forgive had indie traits, and that’s what ultimately made it so enjoyable to me, because it was a step above the rest. I’ve always wondered what would happen if you took the “indie” out of Transit and put it into its own band.
Well, the answer to that is Long Lost, and it’s no surprise that they’re different to Transit. At the same time, however, there’s a sense of familiarity as well, because Boynton’s vocal performance is quite similar his performance in Transit. There’s nothing different in terms of that, and even his lyrics aren’t too far different here, either. Well, different in the sense that they’re still very introspective, meaningful, and wonderful. I will admit, I wasn’t too crazy about Transit’s last album, Young New England, released earlier this year, and even though it wasn’t bad, it was a rather disappointing record, because it could’ve been so much better. For what it was, though, it was still a solid record, and I’m sure it’ll grow on me over time. Save Yourself, Start Again more than “makes up” for the bump in the road that was Young New England. This record is still different, mainly in terms of its overall sound. It’s a lot more “chilled out” and relaxed than Transit records, even though they’re already quite chilled out.
The “chill out” is evident right from the opening track, “Not Worth It.” It’s a two-minute indie jam that’s sure to ignite some “feels” right off the bat. Boynton’s lyrics have a habit of inciting emotion and relatability, but still remaining unique and clever, and that’s exactly what this song does. “Not Worth It” talks about Boyton speaking about someone in a bad relationship, and whether or not it’s worth putting up all the trouble that comes with it. As someone who’s been there before, it’s a song that really hits home. A lot of the ten songs on this record hit home, actually. Lyrically, this record is fantastic, and like I said, it’s not a surprise, considering that Boyton’s lyrics are usually top notch. It only gets better from there, too; third and fourth tracks “Old News” and “Drive With Me” are two of the highlights on the this record. The former is the first song I ever listened by the band when No Sleep Records released a summer sampler. I fell in love with the song, and it still holds up even now.
These songs aren’t instrumentally anything unique, but catchy, breezy, and pleasant. Pleasant would be a perfect way to describe this album. It’s a wonderful sounding album. It’s a very soothing record, and honestly, it fits the fall season perfectly to me. The title track follows these two, and it fits the overall idea and theme of the record nicely – it sums up exactly what Long Lost are about, really.
It’s in the second half of the record, however, where there’s one song that really sticks out like a sore thumb, and that song is sixth track “Wild Hearts.” This song doesn’t’ stick out because of the music itself, and in fact, it’s one of the most infectious songs on the record, but its lyrics are rather interesting. It’s about a boy who’s had to deal with an abusive father his whole life, and one day, decides to shoot him in the desert, and the song is about his thoughts before he does it. It’s the only song with lyrics that dark, which is why it sticks out so much. A little bit later, eighth track “This Love Will Grow” paints a very different picture, this time about a girl who’s optimistic about a relationship with someone, and it’s another pleasant track on the record. The last highlight on the album comes in the form of the closing track, “Clean Slate,” which is all about how no matter what Boynton does, he’ll never be able to be rid of his mistakes and clean his slate. It’s another “feelsy” song, but then again, so is the whole record. It makes for a very fitting end to the record, too, mainly just because it ends it on a very high note.
If there are a couple things that I didn’t like about this record, it’s that it’s a bit too short, for one thing. It’s only around 27 minutes, which is barely a full length record. That’s a nitpick, however, since it’s not actually about the record itself. In a way, though, that does help the record a bit, since my second problem with this album is that the songs do blend together slightly. Not horribly, but every song has a rather similar sound to them. The length of the record helps, because it’s short and sweet. So ultimately, the record being rather short is a strength, yet a weakness.
Those two things are just slight nitpicks, because honestly, this record is pretty close to perfection. I don’t say that about many albums, but this record is worthy of it. While I still adore Listen & Forgive more, this is a close second, honestly.