Lumbering grooves led by a heavyset bassline crater through anything and everything that gets in their way as The Lost Millions get us lost in the thick instrumental forestry of “Wisdom of the Mad Priest,” one of the cornerstone tracks in their new extended play, Novellas Dantes. The lyrics are poetic but surreally illuminative, and although the rumbling thunder of the low-end textures in the back of the mix are quite intoxicating, the striking interplay between the vocal and the electrifying lead guitar tends to be the main attention-getter in this track. The Lost Millions mean to evolve their sound in Novellas Dantes, and songs like this one prove as much.
“Mad at the Sun” is a bit more atmospheric than “Wisdom of the Mad Priest” is, but it isn’t any less urgent in the construction of its swaggering beat. What starts off as a rollicking pop tune eventually erupts in a discordant jam halfway through the track, and not unlike the twisted psych ballad “My Street,” it sucks us into a vortex of heavy garage rock that has been modified to suit the needs of a millennial generation. It’s familiar and futuristic at the same time, which is quite the rare balance to strike in any genre of music.
“See the Light” gets everything started with a flashbang of fretwork and fuzzy vocals, and while it’s one of the simpler songs on the record, it isn’t eclipsed by the sluggish symphony of chaos that is “Complicated” at all. This a pretty eclectic tracklist, but even at its most experimental in stylization, it’s accessible to anyone – both casual and serious rock fans alike – that enjoys a righteous rock n’ roll swing and super-distorted riffage. There’s a shortage of both in mainstream pop right now, but The Lost Millions are doing their part to fix that with Novellas Dantes.
The Lost Millions are still expanding on what they first developed in their 2017 debut album 101 with this EP, but I think that there’s enough intrigue in this record to determine that they’re definitely going in the right direction as a group. You could make the argument that they’re chasing after an audience that isn’t as sizeable as it was a quarter-century ago with this music, but I for one think that their individuality is precisely what makes them such an interesting band to follow. Check out Novellas Dantes when you have a chance – if you love true blue rock, it will be well worth your time.