Born out of the wreckage of the REATARDS and the rubble of the short-lived CLEARS, Memphis’s LOST SOUNDS began in March 1999 in an orange 70’s kitchen with an oversized space-aged 50’s refrigerator. They were a 3-piece made up of Rich Crook on drums, Jay Reatard on synth, guitar and vocals, and Alicja Trout also on synth, guitar and vocals.
With a stockpile of analog keyboard at hand (previously collected for use in the new-wavy Sid barret-esque CLEARS) the three created a sound from a ship-wreckage of influences. The forged something from Killed by Death/Bloodstains compilations, Norwegian black metal (like Emperor, Ashes, and Darkthrone), and the then self-combusting Memphis 90’s garage rock sound(Oblivians, 68 Comeback). Rich, Jay and Alicja added an “I don’t care if it’s what’s cool, I’m gonna try it anyways” attitude to make a pile of songs that were strange and curious for a group from Memphis, Tennessee.
Once the most hated, most bloody, and the least likely to succeed band in Memphis due to volatile personalities and uncontrollable drinking habits, the LOST SOUNDS were able to reach a few on the outside looking in with their recordings. Some saw keyboards and the new trend that was to follow garage and deemed Lost sounds “new-wave”. But like saying Limp Bizkit is punk rock, or Faith Hill is country, ignorant reviewers didn’t know what they were talking about. Lost Sounds will braised you with bullets and shattered new-wave like burning a self-righteous church. Lost Sounds couldn’t share a bed with Duran Duran. The few that picked up on it were open minded with pioneering ears, and struggled successfully to describe a new blend of rock that hadn’t happened before. Writers at www.blankgeneration.com took time to listen and explain what they heard, whether they loved it or hated it.
“Black-Wave” is a term humorously created out of the genres black metal and new-wave specifically to describe LOST SOUNDS. LOST SOUNDS started to appear on Memphis’s top ten bands lists, though always with a “DANGER DANGER Will Robinson” warning attached graciously for the weak at heart. The official birthplace of rock n’ roll, home of the blues was actually gonna foster out it’s weirdo child proudly to the rest of the USA.
LOST SOUNDS grew an extensive new catalogue of songs and Jonas Garland was added to play bass. Songs grew more difficult, accuracy grew more important, and band members dropped the malaise of alcohol-fueled inspiration for a purer more sober and precise energy. Songs developed backwards sounding mechanical beats, orchestrated breakdowns, and themes of apocalyptic fears simultaneously with non-conformist joy that they would not be contributing to the world’s passive pathway to self-destruction. In 2002 Empty Records released RAT’S BRAINS & MICROCHIPS that covers themes like Revelations and the barcode implant (Breathing Machine) and Columbine gun-toting kids (Blackcoats/Whitefear). Radon, destruction, doom, technology, petty vanity, and Satan somehow formed a common theme of bitterness and frustration, yet is dispersed amongst rock ‘n roll guitars and Newmanoid synth sounds to create a joyful cry of life and death.
Though the line-up has changed several times throughout the 4 _ years, the current one includes the original members Rich, Jay and Alicja, and Jonas who switches between bass and guitar. LOST SOUNDS have made three official albums, two full length releases of demos and outtakes, and several 7”s, all recorded at home by the band for a distinctive sound. They have toured the US several times over and will go to Europe this fall.
New album on In The Red this Spring.
Discography at www.geocities.com/lostsounds/releases.html