Hailing from Long Island, N.Y., Davey Jones created Lost Boy? as a bedroom, 4-track experimental pop recording project. Jones is an exciting character born in Plainview, N.Y. He grew up in Suffolk County, Long Island and has been a New Yorker for over 33 years. His illustrations and collages surge with the early 1920s-1950s animation nostalgia. Combining illustration and digital technique, visuals are influenced by imagination, animation, pop art, comics, street art, Walt Disney, Andy Warhol, Jean Michel Basquiat, R. + Aline-Kominsky Crumb, Ernie Bushmiller, Daniel Johnston, and his contemporaries. Jones has created artwork for bands, record labels, venues, and tattoos. Jones carved out his own specific musical niche. After self-releasing several LPs, EPs and singles over the past dozen years, Jones has also completed a series of home demos, live CD-Rs and cassettes that were released from 2005 on.
Jones’ first official EP, USA USA, was released in 2011 on Old Flame Records. Exploding in Sound released the Wasted EP in spring of 2015, Canned was released in March 2015 on Papercup Music, and he first Lost Boy? full-length album recorded as a band. Goose Wazoo (covered here in Shoreworld) was the sophomore LP released in September of 2016 on Little Dickman Records/State Capital Records. Since its inception, Lost Boy? has played countless shows with the likes of Daniel Johnston, R. Stevie Moore, Mr. Twin Sister, Speedy Ortiz, DIIV, Purling Hiss, Porches, Shilpa Ray, Big Ups, Frankie Cosmos, Juan Wauters, and a national tour supporting Titus Andronicus.
The latest full-length album, Paranoid Fiction, has been released via Little Dickman Records as a departure from Lost Boy?’s lo-fi persona, Paranoid Fiction is described as a hi-fi Brooklyn punk rock album.
So, let’s take a listen to a few songs on Paranoid Fiction and see what Lost Boy? Has come up with for us on this last month of 2018.
First song up is called “101.” Wrapped in a chugging fuzz cocoon of punk goodness, “101” hums along at 120 miles per hour as Jones sings his tale life and the woes and relations it brings. Sonically brave, “101” brings back real memories of 1970s punk rock, like the Dead Boys or The Damned. Jones demonstrates true historical knowledge when it comes to punk rock. Steeped in the nostalgia of a time we loved so much; Jones compositional directive is true and accurate. Melodic and well-built, “101” opens this record with a great feel and authentic vibe.
Moving around the disc, I came to a song called “Up Against the Wall.” Jones demonstrates his prowess of mixing vibe and formula to come up with radio-friendly music that also appeals to core fans. “Up Against the Wall” moves fluidly from verse to bridge to chorus via electric guitars that remind me of Steve Jones’ early work with the Sex Pistols. Jones handles most instrumentation on this disc and shows that as a writer, he can also play with the best of them. His middle-eight string bends are great highlights and add a hook of their own to the song.
“No One’s World” is almost a Sid Vicious delivery sort of like he did with “My Way.” Guitars sting as they belt out a harmony lead to kick off the verse and they continue into the simple and effective choruses. Jones uses an animated, low-end vocal to get his point across here and it works quite well. Instrumentation is dynamic, and bass and drums work smoothly under raucous guitars and fluid vocals. I also love the ending area where lead guitars and rhythm guitars join in unison with the melody to supply a heavy emphasis on the hook.
The disc namesake is featured next. “Paranoid Fiction” reminds me of something John Lennon might have tried during his Double Fantasy days. Rebellious and melodic songwriting lead this multi-directional hit by the nose as guitars go off on a sonic journey of musical exploration and melodic goodness. Jones understanding of compositional construction is quite evident on this entire album but really comes together to shine on “Paranoid Fiction.” An intricate and highly engaging song for sure.
Another outstanding song is “Shooting Star.” Jones intro is immediately addictive and hooks the listener into the body of the song. Guitars ping and twang, simple and melodic hooks dart across the soundscape as drums and bass nail down the low end and keep things level under Jones’ agreeable vocals. I love the guitar hook that plays between the bridge and chorus, very keyboard-like without leaving the six-string universe. Jones understanding of creating rich and vital material is once again evident on “Shooting Star,” and this song is yet another winner on an album filled with creative energy.
I also loved the attitude and attack of “Cocaine L.A.” Jones chugs his way into your head as he kicks off his ode to L.A.’s number one stimulant. I love the way guitars chop in the verses as bass and drums hold steady. There’s even a slight hint of some organ use in certain parts which only makes things more interesting. When the bridge kicks in, guitars fan out and fill the spectrum with chordal goodness before retightening. Jones’ string bends also come back into play before the lead break comes in and things fly off the road and into the valley of creative chance and danger. Jones’ huge chorus of singers chant out the song title here, and it’s another highlight on an already super cool tune that helps make this record something special.
All in all, there are over 13 songs on Paranoid Fiction, and even though I can’t cover each one here, I would advise you to go out and get this record as it is another local label favorite that’s high on my list for album of the year.
You can find out more about Lost Boy? And Paranoid Fiction over at littledickman.com or daveyjones.us.