The Lost and Found – S/T

This California trio’s self-titled album is of the variety that manages to grow on you. At first listen, I was a little taken aback by the strength of the vocals and the dark, textured instrumentation. With its dirgey guitar and thunderous drums, the Lost and Found recalls Sonic Youth’s less experimental moments, as well as those of Shannon Wright and PJ Harvey, with the melodic sensibilities of pop-rock bands of yore.

Opening with “It Calls My Name,” even picky rock snobs will be overjoyed at the intricate guitar and bass play. The song is built around a single riff, but it manages to retain the listeners’ attention with out hypnotizing them. “Everyday” is soft and poppy; Aimee Lay has one of those voices that’s able to wrap itself around just about any style. Upbeat dance? Try “Look Me in the Eye.” Ladyfest solo stuff? Try “Flashes,” though the vocals seem to be mixed a little too high.

Lyrically, Lay is also mighty talented. Most of the songs concern love and loss, but they manage to not come off as cliché and boring. “Brave Yesterday” is among the strongest songs on the album, musically and word-wise: “He’s gone far away / and I’m left with nothing to say / I’m locked down like a petrified holiday / daydream believer.” Most of the songs on the album hit over the three-minute mark, which makes the album seem even more layered than it already is.

The songs ebb and flow; when strings are added, as on “In a Dream”, the effect is cinematic. The album closes like it opened, with a mid-tempo aural excersice in romantic exorcism with “Empty Feeling.” Give the album a listen and the title will seem more than a little ironic.