CD Review

Lost in Place – “Failsafe Corroded”

By Marcus Pan

Failsafe Corroded“Disjointed" is a very good way to describe the Failsafe Corroded release from Lost In Place. And true to their moniker, Lost In Place tend to get a little lost in the creation of some of their tracks as well, creating a very far-fetched attempt that combines ambient, techno and EBM with droning goth-rock style vocals. All of this in one basket can be quite much and difficult to control...hence the disjointedness of Failsafe Corroded.

Lost in Place is one of those savants who claims to be rearranging piano instrumentals and the like at five years old and, admittedly, that's pretty impressive. He beat me by about five years. Behind Lost in Place is R. M. Ramlow and this album is said to be the "release valve on a fiery furnace," which is why when I put this CD in I wasn't expecting the floaty instrumental tinkerings that came out. While live he invites Stephen Thaxton (TAO A) and Andrew Hodge (Industry 56) to help create the performance.

The opening floaty vocals of Things I See is reminiscent of MeridieM(1) in tone. Very mixed up lyrically, words smashing into each other, but not as well done as Fektion Fekler(2). Father is similarly done vocally. Bits and pieces of unrelated musical objectoids floating about (the piano tinkering in the background), showing that Ramlow may not always be able to mesh his sound together well, leaving it a little off kilter on occasion. The strings (cello?) here are another example, they seem to be alone, playing by themselves without much regard to what's around.

Track 3, Raven, doesn't slide vocal intonations into eachother as much as the others, but still the voice is overpowered by all the different things going on around it. Failure wakes me up with a poppy bass rhythm opening and a very sweetly done synthetic melody...one of the better tracks of Failsafe Corroded. While Ramlow layers it up like the others, he doesn't add too many disjointed clips to it.

Decomposed is a nice treat with dark, heavy rhythms and metal-laced keyboard riffs. Vocals are heavily overlayed and voxed. But a great beginning, which fades away into a not-as-processed almost whiny vocal style. This further fades into a harmonized vocal effect...again we're having trouble with the Kid And His New Toy syndrome where the musician will attempt to add as many non-segue able, processed, experimental effects as he can to be as totally kewlio as possible. What started with a strong opening has degenerated into a big mess of non-interacting whatsits.

Disposable Contact gets heavily Marilyn Manson at the outset sans guitars – not all together a bad thing, mind. Control opens a bit on the scratchingly annoying side, but the bass line thrown at you as it moves ahead is worth the price of admission. The bass line alone makes the song and the mimicking metallic-laced keyboards do as well.

You know, on the whole, Failsafe Correded isn't a terribly bad output. I wouldn't go so far as to call it a "fiery furnace," more like a "brooding dweomer," but it has its merits in the fact of its uses of a number of genres to create its sound. There are only rare examples of melodies and instrumentation that stands out, while there's plenty of things going on, and this I think is the main downfall of Lost in Place. It suffers from the attempt at adding as much as possible until, eventually, you end up diminishing the track rather than developing it. It's true that sometimes less really is more.

(1) See Legends #92 for a review of their Distant Thunder release as well as their interview.
(2) I reviewed their Into the Sun release for Legends #148.
Contact Information:
Ballistic Test Productions
Post: 90 Wingarden Court #129, Scarborough, ON, Canada, M1B 2K3
E-Mail: ballistictest@rogers.com

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