Another Lost Year – Alien Architect
By Andy Upton
There are critics in the music world who say there is too much of this type or that type of rock band and at times I would have to agree. I also know how hard it is to stand out, make something yours (but different) and struggle to separate yourself from the pack. Another Lost Year might be one of those bands as their sound is comparable to a lot of today’s adult-oriented rock bands but if you listen to their new effort Alien Architect a little closer you’ll notice a few things that make them different from the usual suspects.
First off, the lyrics in a majority of their songs are thoughtful and sincere instead of based on partying, fantasy or topics too disgusting to let your mom listen to on a long road trip. Standout lyrical content can be found in “Best is Yet to Come”, “He Took Beautiful Away” and “Holding On: Letting Go”. Secondly, they do a fine job of mixing the tunes up so as to not be redundant throughout this new disc. Starting with a short instrumental intro over Jeff Daniels’ now-famous speech from HBO’s Newsroom, the song list goes from hard rockers such as “Wolves” and “We All Die Alone” to the lighter side with “Run the Tank Out” and “This is Life”. Lastly, the whole record is perfectly mixed with soft tempo changes, highs & lows in the sound quality and different degrees of edginess. “Bastard Sons” flows up and down with a nice guitar solo mid-way through, “Trigger Finger” has a very cool guitar intro, the love ballad “Memories” contains great acoustic guitar work and “On and On” combines a little bit of everything too make it the catchiest tune on the record.
Overall, Alien Architect is full of very interesting tunes and thoughtful lyrics which work well together. Clinton Cunanan’s vocals are a breath of fresh air, drummer Nathan Walker keeps the beats flowing with very inspired drum work, bassist Adam Hall provides some great background notes to hold it all together and guitarist Jorge Sotomarino provides many different sharp sounds with his varied playing. The harmonies you hear are courtesy of each band member taking a turn at vocal duty with the total sound very pleasing. Having been around for quite a while now, Another Lost Year has been flying under the radar a bit but hopefully their new disc will open a few more eyes outside of their native North Carolina.