L.S. DunesPast Lives

Fantasy Records
11th November, 2022
Repeat Listens!

We are all invariably shaped by our past, but that does not mean it has to define us. For artists like the members of L.S. Dunes, the enormity of early successes will forever loom prominently in the rearview, and therefore have an influence over dictating their future.

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Past Lives is a steadfast resistance to these natural forces, embodying the defiant spirit of its creators who appear united in vision, and totally unbridled from the restraints of preconception.

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The members comprising L.S. Dunes are guitarist Frank Lero (My Chemical Romance), guitarist Travis Stever (Coheed and Cambria), vocalist Anthony Green (Circa Survive), bassist Tim Payne (Thursday), and drummer Tucker Rule (Thursday). The serendipitous meeting of these punk rock/hardcore luminaries had its origins during rehearsals for a live stream performance, earmarked to celebrate Christmas in 2020. Despite coming from different creative projects, the group shared a collective lived experience in the form of a pandemic that had paralyzed the wider music industry they were part of. With an undeniable chemistry underpinning their playing, L.S. Dunes recorded Past Lives as a collaborative effort, drawing upon emotions stirred by the sobering realisation that tomorrow is never promised.

The melodic phrases on 2022 are awash with apprehension and uncertainty, and although Green’s words suggest a cry for help, he ultimately falls short of asking in the end (“If I can’t make it ‘til 2022, least we’ll see how long I can swim”). The elegant Antibodies glides freely over a foundation of bass and drums, followed by the band’s cutting performance on Grey Veins; the song’s message may be scathing, but the delivery is measured.

Creating a record like Past Lives can only occur when the stars align in a certain way.

Duelling guitars take centre stage on Like Forever and Blender, before the dynamic rhythm section powers home the angst-feuled Past Lives. There is a mercurial undertone that runs through It Takes Time, affected by its dynamic modulations and wistful harmonic flourishes. The strained guitar tones on Bombsquad and Grifter showcase the record’s diverse sonic palette, just as the dramatic instrumental breakdowns shine a spotlight on each band member’s individual playing. All these elements reach their pinnacle on the spirited Permanent Rebellion; a perfect distillation of everything that makes L.S. Dunes the stellar musical act they are. Past Lives swoons towards closure via the enchanting passages of Sleep Cult; a song with an allure as palpable as anything you will hear in alternative music. Creating a record like Past Lives can only occur when the stars align in a certain way. Out of one of the most disheartening periods in recent memory, L.S. Dunes were able to write songs that are both artistically minded and acutely relevant; under different circumstances, Past Lives may not have been possible.

STANDOUT TRACKS: 2022, Bombsquad, Permanent Rebellion
STICK THIS NEXT TO: My Chemical Romance, Coheed and Cambria, Circa Survive, Thursday

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