In 2005 Memphis black-wave synth punk band Lost Sounds called it quits after being kicked out of a house in Stuttgart in the middle of a long long night. Four albums and numerous singles and outtakes releases were left over, and the brutal live show would never happen again. As Jay Reatard (½ of the Lost Sounds songwriting team with Alicja Trout) continued to grow his hopeful career on Matador Records, the other band members moved on down less-publicized roads.
Rich Crook, drummer of Lost Sounds, formed Lover! and Thing and toured with them as singer/guitar player. Alicja Trout toured with River City Tanlines, Black Sunday, Mouserocket, and released solo recordings as Alicja-pop. Meanwhile, time was healing the wounds that had caused the band to break up.
Sadly Jay’s light died in January 2010.
In 2015 Alicja, Rich, and original member John Garland brought back a set of tunes from the old Lost Sounds closet. Along with Johnny Valiant on bass, they called themselves Sweet Knives, named after a song from the Lost Sounds 2004 In The Red “Future Touch” seven song EP. In January 2016 the group recorded a four song double 7” for Red Lounge Records. An all new album was released on Bigneck Records August 2017.
Lost Sounds was known for songs and live shows filled with paranoia and anxiety all rolled up in a synth-laden rock and roll burrito. Sweet Knives carries on this tradition with a new delivery, less likely to fall apart and fall off stage. A decade after Lost Sounds ended, the angst has been quelled.
One of Detroit’s most beloved and powerful musicians has gone solo. Well, solo in the sense that he’s put a dynamite musical act together and called it Craig Brown Band. The debut full-length album, The Lucky Ones Forget, was recorded almost live at Brown Rice Studio with Warren Defever (His Name Is Alive)—and is now available on Third Man Records. It’s a long-player filled with songs about heartbreak, fishing and vans—built upon the work of those daring punks of yore who embraced country music (Replacements, Meat Puppets, Tom Petty, et al). And it’s one of 2017’s must-hear records.
Quick rewind. For years, Craig Brown shared manic lead vocals and guitar squealies in the completely unhinged punk band, Terrible Twos (Urinal Cake Records). He’s gigged with King Tuff (Sub Pop) and shredded with local Detroit acts the Brownstown Gals and the Mahonies. He concurrently batters with New Jersey’s Liquor Store—a band so notorious, they sell their own brand of switchblades at the merch table, defying all sorts of local ordinances.
Whatever the band and whatever the avenue, Craig brings effortless musicianship and his damaged honkey-tonk howl to the mix. He has the ability to shred licks hotter and tastier than the Tres Hombres gatefold while breaking your heart with his crestfallen tunes. And despite being in bands for years, he’s just beginning to amaze with his eclectic and accomplished, beyond-pro-as-fuck guitar playing and songwriting abilities.
Live, the Craig Brown Band might look like a pile of dirty clothes but deliver a surprisingly polished and tuneful sound that will have even the gnarliest of disenfranchised young people looking up from their phones—for at least a few tunes, anyway. The good ol’ boys in the band, Eric, Perry and Young Andrew hold down the bedraggled hillbilly-deluxe-meets-dive-bar-jukebox classic rock, offset by the pitch-perfect honeyed harmonies of the Drinkard sisters, Caitlin and Bonnie. Just the kind of band you scratch your head to in the beginning but rave to your friends about how much they fucking rule in the end.