Parastatic have found a couple of exit ramps along Lost Highway that winds their neo-shoegaze and krautrock up into an alternate motorik route. Looking back, Parastatic set their compass on more than the usual coordinates. Lost Highway has a mildly aloof, cool detachment that steers clear of being crassly chic and goes for allure. There’s some strong synth pop and new wave layers added to the mix that shore up the hooks, making Lost Highway’s detours take on a different vibe. If this all sounds upbeat, it is. Lost Highway is an up record, driving along with hooks and a humming, springy engine. Bright production puts a sheen on that opens it up without neutering it; opener Like a Fraud and Minimum Change, Maximum Time are as accessible as they are accelerating. Throw in some spacey rest stops along the way, like the looming anything but Lost, and they stay tight, not rigid. Lyrics and delivery have a mild romantically mournful flavor that dovetails perfect with their electro-pulse, but like the rest of the record, sidesteps the lightweight pitfalls of the road looking back. Where’s Your Base does that perfectly, starting out starry-eyed and gradually working up into soaring pop flight. Stand out cut Darma has no problem getting ‘down in the filth’ if you read between the lines in the middle of the highway. Overall, there’s more going on under the surface and hood than their chrome plating might reveal. Darma sums up a lot of Lost Highway’s appeal, and apparent mission, in one track. Lost Highway is thoroughly modern in construct and delivery, with late ’70s/early ’80s time stamps giving it a hypnotic familiarity that comes over as refreshing rather than once again reheated.
Darma :: Parastatic :: Lost Highway (2012, 104 Records)
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