logo Y-Not Radio Listen Live iTunes facebook twitter mobile
Altrok Showcase w/ Sean Carolan

CD of The Week

Week of 11/06/23

    Lol Tolhurst x Budgie x Jacknife Lee - Los Angeles (Play It Again Sam)

    Here’s an album you couldn’t have predicted was coming: a pair of Brit goth legends team up with one of the most successful alt-rock producers of the past 15 years to make a guest-star-filled electro-rock record. But that’s what we have with Lol Tolhurst x Budgie x Jackknife Lee and their record Los Angeles. Lol Tolhurst was the founding drummer of The Cure and spent over a decade working alongside Robert Smith. His relationship with Budgie goes back decades, as Budgie was the drummer for the Cure’s peers and pals Siouxsie and the Banshees (and was married to Siouxsie Sioux herself). The long-time friends teamed up with veteran producer Jackknife Lee (Silversun Pickups, R.E.M., U2) initially making an all-instrumental album, but decided to bring in an eclectic mix of vocalists to contribute, turning the record into something else entire.

    The result is the all-star album Los Angeles, which is unsurprisingly a very percussion-heavy collection. It may seem odd that a pair of Brits and an Irishman made an album thematically about the City of Angels, but Tolhurst and Budgie have lived there for decades and Lee is also an L.A. resident. And it’s quite amusing that the title track is sung by LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy, a quintessential Big Apple artist and the guy who sang "New York, I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down." Over a bouncing electronic beat and ominous soundscape, Murphy declares “Los Angeles eats its children/Los Angeles eats its young.”

    Primal Scream’s Bobbie Gillespie appears on three different Los Angeles tracks, bringing his band’s British gospel-rock sounds to “This Is What It Is (To Be Free)." He’s also on the noisy and groovy “Ghosted at Home,” which has some serious Nine Inch Nails vibes. The younger generation gets a shot on Los Angeles as well with the screeching “Uh Oh” featuring Starcrawler singer Arrow de Wilde and IDLES guitarist Mark Bowen.

    The most famous guest star to visit Los Angeles is The Edge, who sadly doesn’t sing, but the U2 guitar hero contributes to “Train With No Station” (it doesn’t even go to Zoo Station?) and "Noche Oscura." One of the highlights is the driving, intense electro-rocker “We Got to Move,” featuring Modest Mouse singer Isaac Brock. James Murphy returns to close out the record on the pounding, drum-heavy closer “Skins” (“skins” as in “drums?”).

    If you’re a fan of the dark soundscapes Trent Reznor has made over the years, it’s definitely worth a trip to this vision of Los Angeles.
    Review by Joey O.

Y-Not Radio on MixCloud