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ALBUM REVIEW: L.S. Dunes – ‘Past Lives’

The day is finally here. Music supergroup L.S. Dunes have released their album, Past Lives. The group consists of Anthony Green from Circa Survive, Frank Iero from My Chemical Romance, Travis Stever from Coheed and Cambria, and Tim Payne and Tucker Rule from Thursday. Between the months of speculation about the band members, finally getting that confirmation, and seeing their first couple of performances at Riot Fest and Aftershock festival, the anticipation for Past Lives grew and grew. I’m so excited to finally be able to delve into this album, so let’s get into it, track by track.

2022: The opening song sets the tone for the album. 2022 lets us know exactly what we’re getting into. The ebb and flow of this track is absolutely gorgeous. Switching between quiet parts with a loud guitar buildup, the song talks about surviving, about doing the impossible no matter what. This is further strengthened by its lyrics: “If I can’t make it ‘til 2022/Least we’ll see how long I can swim.” Anthony’s screams add to the song, creating a perfect melody. I think it may be my favorite song from the album, but there are still ten more songs to explore…

Antibodies: This song is fun. That’s it. L.S. Dunes seems to draw its inspiration from the post-hardcore and emo bands of the 2000’s. Antibodies perfectly captures that feeling. The riffs are not from one single band, but rather a mixture of all of them from that time. And yet, the song is still fresh and manages to have an L.S. Dunes twist on it. Complete with Anthony’s impressive high notes, Antibodies makes for a strong second track on the album.

Grey Veins: Oh, that bass line in Grey Veins? Yeah, it gave me chills too. And the drum buildup to the chorus is stunning. There’s so much anticipation in this one, coupled with Anthony’s repetition of “lonely shadows.” There are so many layers in the song musically without even examining the lyrics yet. Yet one of my favorite lyrics from this track has to be the chorus, “I don’t wanna kill time like it doesn’t matter/You chose this instrument yourself/Stop trying to make a scene like you give a shit/You don’t have to believe in anything.” The guitar riffs at the end are gritty and loud and make a great ending for a great song. This song is catchy and I find myself returning to it a lot.

Like Forever: I have never heard a song that gave me the overwhelming urge to want to dance, but here we are with Like Forever. The riffs in this one may be my favorite ever. Anthony starts the song snarling and loud, and the listener is immediately thrown into the organized chaos that is this track. Like Forever is full of energy and that lasts throughout the song; there are no breaks and there is no time to catch up, but that’s okay because you’re going to have fun the whole time.

Blender: Anthony’s vocals really shine in Blender I think. The song sounds so impossibly melancholy and it’s amplified by the long guitar riffs. However, this isn’t a “slow” song by any means. There’s still that infectious energy that runs through it, runs through all of Past Lives. This track to me oddly feels like one that you would play at the end of a movie when the characters are all realizing the weight of the choices they made.

Past Lives: We’ve made it to the namesake! Past Lives starts with a ridiculously cool drum beat. The chorus of this track is one of hope: “I’m not all my mistakes/No matter what they say about it/There’s no use giving up/I know we can get well.” All of the members of L.S. Dunes have spoken about how this band saved them, and how this band formed at a time when they needed it the most. You can really hear how true that is in the lyrics. I really love the middle of the song, when it gets sort of quiet and then picks back up for the ending.

It Takes Time: Another track that starts out deceptively quiet and gets progressively louder. The great bass line keeps the listener hooked. This song is about the slow, non-linear progress it takes to heal, paired with the lyrics “To collect my anchor/To collect my end/To collect my anchor/Matter over mind/One day at a time.

Bombsquad: Listeners of Bombsquad may be immediately drawn to the guitar riff in the beginning. Another high-energy song that left me reeling, Bombsquad pulled no punches with lyrics such as “I don’t want to wait in purgatory,” Thy fear will eat you dead,” and “Our hate fuels everything,” this track is angry and wants everyone to know it with loud vocals and guitar.

Grifter: And it doesn’t really stop either. Grifter is number nine on Past Lives, and it goes hard. The drums and guitar riffs are top-notch. And the lyrics? They’re some of my favorites from the whole album. “All that divides/And all that breaks you,” “It’s impossible to see/Make a mockery of me.Grifter ends with a slow fade-out that fits the song and leaves the listener wanting more.

Permanent Rebellion: Permanent Rebellion was the very first single L.S. Dunes released. You would think we know it pretty well by now, but every time I listen to it I find something new. That guitar riff is so catchy with the drum beat. It’s a song that’s impossible not to sing along with. I really like the lyrics “I don’t wanna be alone like this/Why don’t you make it what you want to be.” Those last lingering guitar notes are perfect as well.

Sleep Cult: To close out Past Lives, we have Sleep Cult, which is a slow song. I immediately thought of its lullaby-like quality when I first listened, with its soothing guitar notes and Anthony’s crooning. This song is absolutely beautiful and has the most heart-wrenching lyrics: “To die in this dimension/Would protect all the things that want to do your harm,” and “I’m sorry that I wish that I was dead.” If I had to pick a song that I suspected Anthony Green poured all of his bleeding heart into, my guess would be Sleep Cult. The song ends, and if you’re emotional like me, you’re left absolutely devastated.

Past Lives is a project of love. Passion and enthusiasm ooze out of every single note and lyric. Five people with an overwhelming love for music and who are all extremely talented came together when they needed it the most and released Past Lives to fans who didn’t even know they would need it. This album is a love letter to the fans, and to the members themselves.

You can stream Past Lives below and let us know what you think!

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Zhane McKnight