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Published: 2002/05/22
by Jesse Jarnow

Another One Lost – Lake Trout


Lake Trout – currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute with their label,
SNS Records – have made one hell of an album. In a move which seems destined
to just get them in deeper shit with the label, the disc is set to be
released independently in early June. There is certainly a Radioheady
quality to the music on Another One Lost, though Lake Trout aren't as
given to random bursts of noise and screeching chaos, nor do the tracks flow
and float together in an ambient sea. Everything that happens is perfectly
logical, almost mechanical.

The band has crafted a disc of methodical mood pieces; vignettes, even. Most
are based around the idea of minimalist loops, each voice (instrumental or
sung) repeating its patterns at various intervals. From the moment each
track begins, just about everything about it seems inevitable as the band
works through all the possible combinations. With each track seemingly
beginning and ending with one voice, everything feels cleanly divided, like
a collection of short stories with blank, white pages between chapters.

The result is a composite vibe, somewhat gloomy, and certainly filled with
an unplaceable despair. It is a world where everything is possible, but
nothing ever happens. Or maybe a world where everything is happening, and no
one has noticed; one just has to look between the cracks (like the haunting
ambient track on "Her" that reveals itself in the song's nooks). It's a
mechanized rapture. "You couldn't stop it if you wanted to," Woody Ranere
sings on "180 Bliss". "You couldn't stop me if I wanted to."

It's closing time in this city. These are the songs of the people that've
stayed in the bars longer than they should have, the last ones left. They
empty out into the streets, each alone, and wander. They wonder when the
subway might come, but there's nothing they can do but quietly taste and
retaste the gin and tonic in their mouths, snatches of songs in their ears.
They are snatches they can't wipe out of their heads, tiny bits of a song
they once heard – tonight? in another lifetime? – remembered but unrealized;
they just loop and loop and loop and continue to play in their brains.

They try to look for different combinations, different inflections that
might make the phrase make more sense and connect up something else and
then, possibly, like a lock, the whole puzzle will unfold and reveal the
song underneath it. Or not. Maybe they're just puzzles to occupy their minds
while waiting for the train. But there remains a hope that, if they solve
them, they can run screaming back and the parties will still be in full
swing, the bouncers will look at the still fresh stamps on their hands, and
let them back in and everything will be okay. But then the scenes fades back
to the present, the empty streets, the already fading stamps, and the green
glowing bulbs of open subway stations. And there they are, on the platforms
and on the night trains.

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