EP Review: Past Lives – Strange Symmetry

Past Lives - Strange SymmetryArtist: Past Lives
EP Review: Strange Symmetry
Label: Suicide Squeeze

Past Lives is three quarters a reanimated corpse of indie darlings The Blood Brothers, whose shrill repertoire still shreds your skin apart to this very day. But with such a familiar vocal talent that is Jordan Blilie’s voice, is it really possible for the majority vote to create an inventive sound, with only new guitarist Devin Welch a fresh face?

Intro ‘Beyond Gone’ takes a gentle ascension into star struck madness, moving forward with atmospheric sounds that fall like the raindrops in Bambi. It stands as the gentlest song whilst the rest of the EP whirls past in a flurry of electronics and guitar shreds. Following track ‘Strange Symmetry’ juxtaposes without delay, bursting out of the gates with dynamic bass and circus antics.

‘Skull Lender’ is ridiculously hectic, perhaps overwhelmingly so. If it wasn’t for the catchy chorus riff thrown in then this song would just completely loose you in its swamp of guitars and high pitched screams, leaving you gasping for breath in what feels like the final round of another Calzaghe slaughter match.

Film noir Past Lives make more exciting music than this picture suggests.
Past Lives make more exciting music than this picture suggests.

Anyone who has seen Look Around You will fall in love with ‘Reverse the Curse’s retro introduction. Shimmering, glassy electronics abound just before the cacophony of noise kicks off all over again, thick and solid with only Blilie’s voice there to drag you through the pandemonium. However, even that sometimes gets dragged under the crushing weight of it all.

Final act ‘Chrome Life’ has a real Knightrider bass line feeling to it (which is no bad feature at all in my books), and the slower, groovier pace pays dividends, finally giving you a chance to reset your head and acting as a strong conclusion  to what is an overpowering collection of tracks.

Fidel Castro decided to make a guest appearance at their first show in Seattle.
Fidel Castro decided to make a guest appearance at their first show in Seattle.

The trouble is, going back to the question asked at the top of this review, is that it does sound like another Blood Brothers release. But since when was that a bad thing? So it lacks any credible invention, but with a voice like that it would be nigh on impossible for Past Lives to sound like anything else. What they lack in originality they more than make up for such an abundance of sheer energy and liveliness contained within these five songs. It’s like giving a ten year old ADD sufferer a lifetime supply of Red Bull – the madness is just never going to end, and I’m already looking forward towards the next misadventure.

MP3: Past Lives – Reverse the Curse


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