Lol Tolhurst x Budgie x Jacknife Lee have released their hard-hitting, much-anticipated debut album ‘Los Angeles’ via Play It Again Sam. The album’s 13 tracks dive into freedom and slavery, beauty and decay, hope and despair, and feature an star-studded list of guest vocalists and musicians – The Edge (U2), Civil Rights avant-garde artist Lonnie Holley, Mary Lattimore, and more.
Listen to ‘Los Angeles’ here
Having previously shared videos for Los Angeles featuring LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy, Ghosted At Home featuring Primal Scream’s Bobby Gillespie, and We Got To Move featuring Modest Mouse’s Isaac Brock with comedian / actor / musician Fred Armisen making a cameo in the video, today, the group also shares the frenetic Michael Frost-directed video for album highlight Uh Oh featuring guest vocals from Starcrawler’s Arrow de Wilde and guitar from IDLES’ Mark Bowen. Watch the video for Uh Oh via YouTube below.
“We asked Mark Bowen from IDLES to put some guitar on it and what we got was sonic destruction design courtesy of the dentist. Then Arrow de Wilde added her brand of mayhem and we ended up with something that proudly displays its punk roots,” notes Tolhurst regarding Uh Oh.
Jacknife adds, “Mark Bowen has such a distinctive way of making noise… He delivered something quite extraordinary that gave us a whole new perspective on the song. It was both violent and oddly dance-y. It had a wildness to it that was pointing directly to the attitude and swagger of Arrow de Wilde.”
And Budgie says, “‘Uh Oh’ is NOT like anything else – It has one of those beats! A beat I stole from myself – The Creatures’ ‘Mad Eyed Screamer.’ Which I stole from Mitch Mitchell – Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Gypsy Eyes’. For the End I stole my Banshees’ Happy House beat. Oh it’s Such Fun! Fun! Fun! Pablo Picasso said, ‘Good artists copy, great artists steal.’ Los Angeles is full of Great Steals, from our Idols and Ourselves.”
The three-way Los Angeles collaborative long-player was born out of a curiosity which just wouldn’t die. Made up of two of the most illustrious and inventive drummers of the post-punk era, The Cure’s Lol Tolhurst, and Budgie from Siouxsie & The Banshees and The Creatures, along with stellar producer and multi-instrumentalist Garret ‘Jacknife’ Lee, this unlikely alt-supergroup have spent the last four years spiriting up one of the most extraordinary albums to appear in 2023. Perusing the tracklist, with its guest credits for, amongst others, James Murphy, Bobby Gillespie, The Edge, Civil Rights avant-gardist Lonnie Holley, Mary Lattimore, Starcrawler wildchild Arrow de Wilde and Mark Bowen from IDLES, you may rightly wonder just what the 13-track long-player holds in store.
The answer: a hard-hitting and compulsively exploratory 55-minute electronic headfuck, founded on unrivaled rhythmic expertise, fleshed out with an armory of synths, guitars (Jacknife’s forté) and supplementary percussion, often overlaid with elite-class strings and brass, then universally twisted, manipulated and quite masterfully sculpted by Lee, with his super-producer’s hat on.
As per the title, ‘Los Angeles’ is a journey into the dark heart of contemporary LaLaLand, the city of its birth, a place of limitless possibility, yet also a diseased and consumptive hell-on-earth which, to quote Murphy’s lyric on the title track, “eats its children,” where pipe dreams shatter, racial inequality prevails and homelessness spirals. Throw in the terrifying uncertainty occasioned by the global pandemic, which both interrupted and ultimately aided its genesis, and the ‘new Cold War’ terror that has ensued, and you get a record fueled by fear and tension, but whose propulsive beats, mind-warpingly mangled instrumentation and exceptional vocal contributions provide release through the palpable joy of their creation. Far-sighted and visionary, it lands just in time for those Album of the Year polls…
‘Los Angeles’ track list
1. This Is What It Is (To Be Free) [with Bobby Gillespie]
2. Los Angeles [with James Murphy]
3. Uh Oh [with Arrow de Wilde and Mark Bowen (IDLES)]
4. Ghosted At Home [with Bobby Gillespie]
5. Train With No Station [with The Edge]
6. Bodies [with Lonnie Holley and Mary Lattimore]
7. Everything And Nothing
8. Travel Channel [with Pan Amsterdam]
9. Country of the Blind [with Bobby Gillespie]
10. The Past (Being Eaten)
11. We Got To Move [with Isaac Brock]
12. Noche Oscura [with The Edge]
13. Skins [with James Murphy]