A bias is one thing, and a love is another; I chose the brilliant Our Lost Infantry to open our show in January at The Lexington in London, based – primarily – on a few scratchy recordings.
It turns out that they put on an incredible show, piling in their energies and excitement into a blinding set. And then it turned out that WET Records – the label of John Earls, former main man at Teletext’s Planet Sound, where I used to write once upon a time – had decided to put out OLI’s double A-side.
Thom Ashworth’s vocals on ‘The Arsonist’ sound as crystal-clear as they do live, and everything interacts so wonderfully that the post-rocky bits are gone – the differences between the full-throttle choruses and more contemplative bridges are clear to see. The three-part harmonies at the end are what set this band apart from the likes of Grammatics, stark and intense and bleak for their density. The other half of the release, ‘Scissorfight’, sees less of the hammering away and more room for the nod-along; there’s space and time, like a sinister Arcade Fire break c. Neon Bible.
The production makes the contrasts a tad too abrasive at times, but that the fad-free Our Lost Infantry are in possession of such a varied talent is something to cling onto with love. Their songs are abound with jaunty hooks, progressive sections of instrument-hammering and airy chord sequences alike.
Watch it and fall: