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Off Like a Prom Dress
Review by Frankie Hagan

The sound created by The Lost Patrol could be described as the Cranberries arranged by Chris Isaak with just a splash of surf. The presence of retro cool is obvious, as is the bleak, Gen-X lyrical slant. The band’s latest release, Off Like a Prom Dress, is not the stuff of crowded dance floors, but hauntingly thoughtful mood music that might work in a film score for some atypical teen flick to be played in the background when the guy starts to think about why he lost the girl. For that reason alone, movie producers should pay attention.

The unintentionally angsty vibe is best evidenced in “It’s All in My Head,” “Hands Tied,” and “Broken Blossom.” But the CD has an upbeat side as well. The truest surf-styled track on this collection is “Shimmy,” which hints of that quintessential Dick Dale influence that all reverb enthusiasts seem to have. The arrangements are fresh and do not suffer from monotony of tone, even though a darkly pensive mood is maintained throughout the set. Pay attention to the selections “Gray Day” and “Something I Don’t Know” for clever lyrics and instrumentation. “So Long” seems to be a tribute piece to a departed friend, seamlessly fitting the fabric of this album.

Danielle Kimak-Stauss has a voice that takes you to the empty place behind your heart within seconds, and supplies the percussion to keep it beating. She is perfectly matched with the material. Stephen Masucci and Joe Pascarell create the sound of ghostly surf music that pervades and defines this CD. The combination of moody, deeply personal original material with solid vocals and instrumentation make this album an interesting purchase, and make you appreciate the sunshine a little bit more.

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