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Album Review: Bonds by Lost In The Riots

London alternative post-rock act Lost In The Riots release their third album Bonds on 26th April via Lonely Voyage Records. The follow up to 2014’s Move On, Make Trails is a tenser and more ferocious affair, that sees the band trading the anthemic stylings of their previous release in favour of a heavier and moodier aesthetic, without compromising on their original sound.

Bonds was born from the personal experiences of the band during the two years they spent writing and recording the album. Exploring the wider narrative of loss, change and frustration – themes which can be felt throughout – the album represents the catharsis of moving on.

Move On, Make Trails was our album of 2014 and it soundtracked my year (and a great part of the last four and a bit year), giving it a special place in my heart. It connected with me in a visceral way that only a handful of albums have done. With this in mind, not only was I looking forward to this record but I was a little apprehensive, could it match the station I’ve elevated the last album to?

I needn’t have worried as Bonds is an equal, it embodies a completely different feel and in many ways its quite an extreme departure for the band, but it retains the catharsis and relatability that makes Lost In The Riots so special.

Throughout the record, from the broody ‘I Was A Fucking Jet Engine’, to the majestically heavy ‘Lumens’ to the And So I Watch You From Afar styled intricate expansiveness of ‘Chemistry’ it thrills and pulsates (and that’s just the first three tracks covered). Once you get past (and onboard with) the change in Lost In The Riots this is an album you can’t help but fall in love with.

The math/post-rock blend of ‘Collider’ is exhilarating before the stomp and guitar noodling of ‘Trappist’ transports you off to guitar heaven. With this bigger, more aggressive sound you could be forgiven for taking ‘Telomeres’ as a bit of respite – the opening minute takes the riffs down a notch but ramps up the emotion. It sinks itself into your raw emotions and with its explosion takes over all the senses. This might just be the most powerful track the band have committed to record.

From there, the second half of the album just goes from strength to strength. ‘LOOPER’ sounds absolutely huge while ‘This Confession Has Meant Nothing’ takes an angsty post-rock swipe full of frustration channelled through big swirling guitars. The heavier riffs give way to more traditional post-rock sonic dynamics around the 1 minute 30 mark and the track excels in its maze of intricacies. The acoustic guitars of ‘Gold’ are full of emotion and encapsulate a sense of loss, it’s raw and moving but also complemented perfectly by the triumph of ‘In Triplicate’ – there you’ll find all the catharsis and relief you could need. It’s the light at the end of the tunnel.

‘Bonds’ ties the album together wonderfully with a haze of intricate and soaring guitar parts over a tight driving rhythm section. It’s both the heaviest and most expansive the band have been. Lost In The Riots are back and boy have we missed them.

AD Rating 10/10

 

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