Move on, make trails sounds like Watford’s Lost in the Riots are making a statement. It is hard to think that their debut album Stranger in the Alps is only just over a year old and they have made a lot of progress since them, effectively cementing themselves high in the UK’s Math-rock scene and also touring relentlessly over in mainland Europe. They are definitely a live band. Not to say that I did not enjoy their previous recorded offerings, but once you’ve seen them live just pressing play on a stereo does not quite cut it.
With their second album they still sound like Lost in the Riots just the energy has doubled and the atmosphere is getting closer to that of one of their explosive live shows. It has also been released at the right time. Stranger in the Alps with its darker, wintery vibe came out the tail end of a pretty damn cold British winter, whereas Move on, Make trails comes at the high of a mostly (save the occasional storm) searing hot summer. The album has that playfulness that all And So I Watch You From Afar releases have and due to that band’s success I cannot blame Lost in the Riots for going in this direction.
Guess that sounds like a dig, but it certainly is not. The vibe is similar, the genre is the same, but Lost in the Riots sound just like Lost in the Riots. It is a summer album, a party album; it feels somewhat strange not being out in the sun with a handful of mates and a fridge of chilled beers when I listen to it. So I’d better organise a get together!
Lost in the Riots are all about the riffs. Riff after riff after riff after riff! Luckily their skill lies in keeping everything together without each track sounding like they threw a tonne of ideas into a pot, picked them out randomly, and stuck them together. Each idea flows into and out of each other flawlessly without me ever questioning their compositional decisions. The instruments thrive in supporting each other with complimentary harmonies and chords, now and then sneaking off for a little flourish before quickly getting back on the path. These tracks are really interesting in that respect, they are ever changing but there is not an air of self-indulgence despite them being undisputedly complex and often technically challenging.
The album really is full on, the downtime moments much less prominent than in the debut album. It also displays a band that have really found their feet and become more comfortable with their sound. Stranger in the Alps was very good, but Move on, Make trails pips it to the post in all areas. Lost in the Riots are making their own trails I just hope they continue to push themselves onwards in their future releases.
For now just enjoy your summer with Lost in the Riots sat in the background (and for God’s sake, go and see them live).