What started as a Covid-era passion project of riffs and song ideas sent back and forth between friends has turned into something truly remarkable for the members of L.S. Dunes. Comprised of vocalist Anthony Green (Circa Survive/Saosin/The Sound of Animals Fighting), guitarists Travis Stever (Coheed and Cambria) and Frank Iero (My Chemical Romance) and Thursday’s Tucker Rule (drums) and Tim Payne (bass), the band certainly has the combined resume to create something spectacular, but it’s not their experience or past accomplishments that makes Past Lives great – it’s their undeniable passion.
The eleven songs that make up Past Lives are clearly written by five guys who simply just love playing music. From the first soaring notes of the somewhat somber opener, “2022” and the explosive “Bombsquad” to the emotionally vulnerable “Sleep Cult”, Past Lives not only perfectly showcases each musician, but it also leaves no stone unturned and no space of musical real estate vacant. There’s the driving drums in songs like “Blender”, the gritty, textured bass in “Past Lives” and the soaring guitar work in “Permanent Rebellion” all layered alongside Green’s iconic vocals, which seem to take on an entirely new life with this release as well. And that’s just picking apart a few standout moments. I mean it when I say that there isn’t one second on this album that isn’t well thought out, creative as hell, or at the very least a straight up ripper.
Past Lives (and L.S. Dunes in general) is simply the best from each of these five artists. It is an album that was born out of passion and desperation. It feels like it needed to be written. No two songs sound the same, but not in a way that feels meandering or unfocused. Instead, it feels like five artists following their passion, whether that leads them down the chaotic path of “Grifter”, the powerful “It Takes Time” or the stunning closer, “Sleep Cult,” which feels like a nod to Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, of all things. Meanwhile, lyrically, the album explores themes of fearlessness, nonconformity, and impermanence, all while the band plays their hearts out alongside Green’s desperate screams and stunning clean vocals, making for something that feels incredibly raw, real and most importantly, relatable. The catchy as hell “Grey Veins” finds Green insisting, “Stop trying to make it seem like you give a shit / You don’t have to believe in anything,” while the final track leaves him crooning, “Sorry that I wish that I was dead.”
Whether this is the first of a handful of releases from L.S. Dunes or the an iconic first and only album from this specific group of musicians, Past Lives easily proves that they’re more than just another supergroup. Sonically, the album is explosive and passionate. Lyrically and vocally, it’s powerfully vulnerable. Together, these eleven songs are timeless and impossible not to listen to again and again on repeat. Trust, me – you’ll find something new to love with every listen.