Posted on April 16th, 2015 (9:00 am) by Casey Bauer

Imagine a rollercoaster that, instead of making your stomach rattle around under your skin, plateaus at one speed with a constant, rattling volume. Drop Electric’s latest album, Lost In Decay, is a lot like an underwhelming rollercoaster. But there’s still reason to hope.

In their younger years, Drop Electric was strictly an instrumental band. It took one craigslist ad and an interview later to change directions, and Kristina Reznikov joined the band as a guitarist and a singer. Reznikov doesn’t really identify herself as a vocalist, but Lost In Decay proves that the girl has both a voice and guitar chops. Unfortunately, she quit the band last summer, just after wrapping up recording the album. Unsure of how to proceed, the remaining members decided to still release Lost In Decay, replacing Kristina Reznikov with another female vocalist, Anya Mizani.

The decision to release the album strikes us as odd for mostly one big reason: we now have no idea what the band sounds like. It makes complete sense that the group would want to release something they spent so much time on, but the idiosyncratic wails and mourns that gave Drop Electric continuity in each track, is now gone. That’s not to say Reznikov’s replacement is bad in any way; we just have no idea what she sounds like and how she fits into the group. This makes for a peculiar, and possibly exciting, gamble for those that see the band in concert. Are they playing the songs from Lost In Decay? Is Anya singing all the same lyrics that Reznikov did, and if so, is she matching her style? We really have no idea.

Whatever the case, Drop Electric’s latest release is dense and packed with reverb, making the record a sheer wall of sound. It’s an album that’s bound to attract the lo-fi, psych-rock lovers out there, yet we still don’t quite understand why a band would want to make their music even harder to decipher. Googling lyrics are often times another part of listening to music, (how did we ever get by before?) but with the addition of girthy percussion, screaming guitars, and a droning synth, we question why some bands even try to have lyrics. In Lost in Decay, Reznikov’s voice acts more as an instrument itself, crooning sounds of words rather than distinguishable ones themselves. It’s an effect that seduces us at times, but also bores us at others, especially when we want to know what she’s so worked up about.

Each track is dreamy, making it easy to lose reality and drift aimlessly from song to song, following the haze of guitars and synth. Particularly in tracks like “Tread Lightly” and “Body High,” distant percussion and a slow unraveling of structure makes us lose our footing and suddenly each song starts to bleed into the next. Constant, epic climaxes with systematically elongated lady vocals don’t help either, and this results in a large part of the album feeling like a single, massive, but very slow moving record. We’re suddenly more lethargic ourselves, and we can’t help but space out.

If you listen hard enough, Lost In Decay has some variables that shake up the monotony. “Your Silence Will Not Protect You” has rhythmic electronic fuzz and an untouchable falsetto that make it a definite replay, while articulate, sporadic percussion makes the ethereal “End Game” playful and more grounded. The band’s music videos also prove to be extremely rewarding, something the band uses to their advantage when they play them during their live performances. Filmmaker Patrick Morris is considered a vital member, despite not playing an instrument, and after watching music videos for past albums (“Waking Up To The Fire,” “Blue Dream,” “Robot Funeral”) we understand why. Morris brings a dynamic to the band that the music itself often lacks, making us think of Drop Electric as more of a multi media art project than a band. Together, the two forces create devastating, stylistic tales that bring a solid foundation to their otherwise drifting records.

Drop Electric is a band very much still trying to find their way in the music world, something we can sympathize with and support. Lineup changes, stylistic shifts, and other artistic expressions have made the band an ever evolving one, and Lost In Decay is just another part of their journey. The record isn’t bad, but it’s just airy and pensive enough to lose our focus. With the help of visuals, (i.e. Morris’ videos), however, the music suddenly takes on a new meaning, and we warm back up to Drop Electric.

We’re interested in what new vocalist Mizani brings to the band, but only time and more records will tell what to think of them. For now, we’re going to go watch ”Blue Dream” one more time.

Track List:

  1. Flee The Circus
  2. Tread Lightly
  3. Your Silence Will Not Protect You
  4. Regal Blood
  5. Lost In Decay
  6. Body High
  7. Rival Churches
  8. One By One
  9. End Game
Drop Electric - Lost In Decay Review
Purchase at: Amazon | eMusic

Our Rating

59 / 100
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