L.S. Dunes have carved out their place in hard rock with their emotional debut, Past Lives. The band leans on past influences to create a new, exciting, energetic punk world.  

If you were a millennial growing up during the early 2000’s age of hard rock, seeing larger-than-life legends within the rock genre of that time get together for a song, let alone the creation of a band, would be an event worthy of celebration or a fever dream. With the advent of emo renaissance festivals and the pandemic elongating the passage of time and creating a hunger for nostalgia and new tunes, reunions (Paramore, My Chemical Romance) and song resurrections make this dream a reality. But, as 2020 showed us musically and globally, things that seemed impossible can occur. 

Now, fans of the iconic rock bands can live in the reality of guitarist Frank Iero and vocalist Anthony Green being in the same group with the emergence of hard rock outfit L.S. Dunes. Releasing their buzzy debut album, Past Lives, the group draws on the sounds of punk to carve out a niche for itself in a music world overloaded with reinvention. However, L.S. Dunes is more than just a band made up of rock music favorites uniting to work together on a fun project and draw on their old sounds. The album states how rock music can look to the future by expertly combining elements from its past and turning it into something new and meaningful.  

 The band comprises vocalist Anthony Green (Circa Survive), guitarist Frank Iero (My Chemical Romance), guitarist Travis Steever (Coheed and Cambria, and drummer Tucker Rule (Thursday). They add a unique chapter to the emo scene with music colored by heavy riffs, emotional lyrics, the fire of a young band, and the embodiment of a punk attitude. 

Remembered for his vocals in former band Saosin and his solo work, Green’s vocal fearlessness and energy are palatable in sound and passion from the start on lead single ‘2022,’ a tune that revolves around the disruption caused by the pandemic. With Iero calling Green’s vocal performance an “exorcism” that starts a “beautiful journey into madness,” the guitarist sets the bar high for the feel of the lead single. However, the song beautifully begins the journey into emotional turmoil while the record hones in on feelings of fun, rebellion, and hope that can occur while one is enduring hardship. 

Each musician is allowed to shine individually on this album, giving an equal spotlight within a group that could have quickly gone the route of writing formulaic music. 

Drawing on heavy themes such as isolation, impermanence, fearlessness, and the reality of living in a pandemic, the 11-track album is a portrait of the toll that grief and uncertainty within the world can take on individuals, especially those who make music for a living. Unapologetically emotional, the opening theatrical track sees Green contemplate the state of the world within the next year, something on the singer’s mind before the band was created, connecting the life-saving power of rock during tumult. 

Other tracks, such as ‘Grey Veins,’ proclaim the chorus of “I want to kill time like it doesn’t matter” — Green’s emotions shine here— while ‘Past Lives’ sees Green mourning what used to be. Keeping with the punk attitude of the ‘Permanent Rebellion’ kicks convention and having to live up to “the weight of approval” to the curb, Green’s raw screams emphasize the anger that accompanies the theft of what is one’s own life. “Grifter” keeps up the album’s energy. Charming closer “Sleep Cult” winds down the album’s emotion and caps off a trip into a rock experiment that does not stray too far from its members’ sound of origin. 

Overall, the album is a hopeful letter to souls feeling adrift and needing a light at the end of the tunnel. A captivating, experimental ride on a wave of punk and hardcore rock, L.S. Dunes provides a class on how a supergroup can make what seems old new again as well as how music veterans do it. Past Lives lets listeners know why they have been involved in the hardcore scene for the better part of two decades and that L.S. Dunes is here to stay. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s