Detroit may have the indie world’s ear at this very moment, but at least one outfit saw fit to split town just as the hum grew to a buzz. The Starlite Desperation’s Dante Adrian (né White) and Jennifer Pearl, little more than a year after they relocated here, headed back for the more reliable climes of the left coast. Sure, winters here can be brutal, but the timing couldn’t have been worse for the group. In any event, before they pulled up stakes, Adrian and company were also performing with Detroiters Dave Buick (The Go) and Ben Blackwell (Dirtbombs) as Belle Isle (or Hell’s Belles depending upon the show). The Lost Kids’ Belle Isle’s on Fire is the lovechild of that union. A four-song EP of cuts (two of which feature Jeff Klein on drums) that push the Starlite Desperation’s tight psych-garage paranoia into a looser, bar-band territory, Belle Isle’s on Fire still manages to keep the manic-panic flavor toppermost on the rock palate. Adrian’s blessed with a rock wail that would melt the neon off even the most stridently cheesy blooz-rawk bar.
While the Starlite Desperation seemed to have it licked with a striking balance of angst, energy and efficiency — delivered through guitars, rhythm and that wail — the Lost Kids let it all hang loose and just have a rocking bad time. The serpentine guitar lines, vocals and the just-out-of-pocket rhythms conspire to create a menacing atmosphere recalling the Gun Club, the Cramps, X and other dark-side LA punx. So it is that the Lost Kids find their voice, their beat and their urgency that separate them from yet another garage rock band trying to avoid clichés by swimming in them. So what if half of them got the fuck outta Dodge before they really became Detroiters; they at least had the good sense to leave behind a handful of tracks to remember ’em by.
E-mail Chris Handyside at [email protected].