Timelost – Don’t Remember Me for This Review

What do you get when two metalhead friends come together and begin a file-sharing effort from a thousand miles apart to explore their collective musical lusts? You get [drumroll please]…a shoegaze album? I was taken aback when I first played Timelost’s new album Don’t Remember Me for This and was quickly reminded of the modern shoegaze and dream pop sound of Brooklyn, New York band Beach Fossils (a band I’ve come to know and grown to love). Timelost are a hefty step up from Beach Fossils in terms of heaviness, but that’s still a comparison I never thought I would be making while reviewing a promo sent to AMG. I’m not let down by the outcome here; it’s just not exactly what I expected self-described metalheads Shane Handal and Grzesiek Czapla would conceive of together.

Don’t Remember Me for This is Timelost’s debut full-length album. On all eleven tracks, the Philadelphia duo wholly embrace the angst and moodiness that generally comes along with their shoegaze sound. Frontman Shane Handal maintains that, “We wanted to be honest and wrote what was real to us. It just so happened we both were going through a lot at the time we were writing the album.” DRMFT is 42 emotionally-charged minutes concerning honesty, self-evolution, loss, and pain. The shoegaze scene has an interesting but perhaps not surprising origin. Invented in the 1980s, the term was originally used by the British music press to describe those bands featuring billowing swirls of heavily processed guitar lines and laid back vocals with a proclivity for “gazing introspectively” down at their feet and elaborate pedalboards on stage throughout live performances. Shoegaze bands are typically regarded for their lo-fi sound, confessional lyrics, and easygoing vocals. On DRMFT, Timelost have checked all those boxes.

As demonstrated from the first track onwards, Shane has perfected the detached shoegaze vocal style. His apathetic, breathy voice is a mix of equal parts Neil Halstead of Slowdive (my personal favorite band in the world of shoegaze) and Dustin Payseur of Beach Fossils. For the most part, DRMFT is an energetic album bursting with jangly and grungy punk velocity (“Timelost,” “Lysergic Days,” and “Closure is Expensive”). The middle meat of the album takes a break from the jitteriness and slows down to feature a gritty, atmospheric track that moves like lava (“The River Broke Us”), the strummy, sadboi title track, and the plaintive, almost Morning Phase-era Beck-like “Life Avoider.” Shocking closing track “Cryptorchid” is a cover of Marilyn Manson’s 1996 song by the same name. It’s a truly maniacal ending to an otherwise hazy, chilled out album.

Though DRMFT is no spectacle, it is, all things considered, a deeply sincere and heartfelt debut. Immediately apparent through the atmospheric walls of sound, sludgy melodies, and deeply personal lyrics, creating and releasing DRMFT was as cathartic as scribbling away in a diary for both Shane and Grzesiek. Given Timelost’s star-studded lineup on recording (Jeff Zeigler, best known for his work with indie rock bands The War on Drugs and Kurt Vile) and mastering (Ed Brooks, well-known for his time with REM, Death Cab for Cutie, and Minus the Bear), I was expecting something with a little more novelty and a lot more punch from their debut. Nevertheless, Timelost’s relaxed riffs are swimming in delicious, well-produced reverb and had me bobbing my head on more than one occasion.

Timelost mentioned that they made a conscious choice to not release a metal album this first time around. I’m curious to see if they decide to stick with shoegaze on their follow up release or take on a genre more closely aligned with their backgrounds in the heavier and more aggressive side of music. With an album name like Don’t Remember Me for This, I suspect they’ll go for the latter.

Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Golden Antenna Records
Websites: wearetimelost.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/wearetimelost
Releases Worldwide: October 25th, 2019

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