Without Being Anything, the latest release from Oklahoma boys The Lost End is, ironically, really something. These guys really know how to make rock music that sounds huge without adding too many unnecessary bells and whistles. Right from the opening riff on “Before I Die,” this record demands attention.
Sprinkled over top of a Death From Above 1979-inspired rhythm section is the truly excellent guitar playing provided by Scott Jones. Sometimes Jones gives next to nothing and still manages to be a star player, like throughout the stomping “Little Nothing” and the surprisingly emotional “Fading Feeling.” Elsewhere, like on “Cold Hard World” and album “Chemistry Now,” he brings heavy riffage to its most refined state.
In terms of lead vocals, Ryan Taylor may be an acquired taste for some, but there’s no denying his strength. Think Wes Borland in his much-better-than-Limp-Bizkit project Black Light Burns. Not quite a monotone and definitely very melodic, it’s almost gothic in tone.
If I had to pick one thing on this record to nitpick, it really would be the rhythm section. Nothing that they do is bad, and there are some really solid switch-ups and dance patterns sprinkled throughout these songs. The thing is that some of them really are still just ideas and feel like they could have been fleshed out a little more. A high-hat flare here and a crescendo fill there can go a really long way. The production also sometimes feels just a little bit limited, with a lot of the performances really sounding like they were played on each other as opposed to with each other.
Overall, this is an impressive entry into the catalog of a band that’s barely two years old. If they continue on their current path, tighten up just a little bit, and focus on making the production side of things feel a little more organic, The Lost End could be a hard rock band to watch over the next few years.
Written by Syd Ghan
*edited by Kate Erickson