WITH THE SHEER over-abundance of musical acts in competition for our eyes and ears these days, to have a level of gimmick seems to be a given. Often an obvious attention-getting device, I usually just want to get down to the heart of it, the music. But Stockholm grunge duo, The Lost Poets, communicate their particular recipe with flair and taste. They come on with a White Stripes-meets-The Residents avant-garde appeal thanks to the wearing of suits, top hats and a black material completely covering their faces. To hide their identities entirely, seemed a logical next step, and I was pleasantly surprised to find they’d not resorted to that trick. They are in fact the now Los Angeles-based multi-instrumentalists David Rosengren and Petter Strömberg.
Anonymous or not, The Lost Poets are on to something, especially if you like the ‘90s noises of Smashing Pumpkins, Soundgarden and Pearl Jam. What struck me most was how beautifully recorded Insubordia Part II is. The sound is big and warm, and the arrangements succinct and parts nicely placed with minimal overdubs. The approach is not overblown – If anything there’s a feeling of holding back. Many of the songs are quite short and just when they start to take off, they’re over. But the following track is always a fresh viewpoint within the band’s chosen musical confines, over-repetition clearly not being an option.
But other than the impressive-sounding single, ‘Mouth’, there’s no track that really sets you on fire and demands repeated listening, which gives the album a feeling of anti-climax. But it doesn’t put you off, it just leaves you wanting more, which, let’s face it, is a skill nowadays. I put it down to it being early days for The Lost Poets. The seeds are sown and one or two albums down the track when they’ve developed through their grunge template, the band could well be delivering something startling indeed. PETER KEARNS
Music = 3/5