Lost Trail (Zachary & Denny Corsa) have been partners in crime for a long time. In the past, they’ve conducted paranormal investigations via recorded sound, but their music has by now slowly begun to ease itself into the cold forests of reality. A roar of static, and what sounds like a radio broadcast, open One Day We’ll All Walk Outside And Stare Up At The Blameless Sky And Wait For Something To Happen. Soon after, a squelching sound bubbles and boils. All that’s missing is the growling of the name Zuul. It looks like we have company. Who you gonna call?
Lost Trail have evolved over the years, and that’s a very natural thing. No longer is their music a Saturday afternoon dare that the local teens used to pull off, that nervy walk to the once-decadent mansion that had a very valid reputation for being haunted.
The pale colors of the VHS tape have finally faded, and Lost Trail have entered the new, cooler year of 2015; a year struck by the possibility of a second cold war, the threat of international terrorism (okay, so that’s nothing new) and Ebola outbreaks. Similarly, their music is cold and sober. “Post Industrial Scales Rag” is the noisy rumble of a truck – a big one – passing by. Rain sweeps the roadside, and their haunting, yet extremely beautiful harmonies enter alongside. The gritty dirt of a side-road’s asphalt gets caught up inside the worn sneakers. And Lost Trail’s music somehow feels like it’s aged, its skin of drone somehow creasing. Their music now has a raw surge of power that never used to be there. Drones that used to be as wispy as ectoplasmic residue have now been forged in the tough steel of the American industrial sector. Their music has toughened up, and so has America.
There’s still evidence that a séance has been conducted. Some parts sulk around, like a cyber-demon from Doom. “Red Avenues” is pretty eerie, as if a past track has come back, unfinished business raging in its heart. The radio crackles and creeks like a Geiger counter. It is a darker record. Sometimes, the music’s pitch-black, and, like Five Nights At Freddy’s, it’s possibly home to a couple of animal animatronics that used to be in a fake rock band, but who nowadays roam their fast-food restaurant at night. Scientific talks and rational explanations try to explain away supposed phenomena, but the circling harmony adds a little mystique to its surroundings. And if everything made perfect sense, there’d be no magic.
The final two tracks add up to thirty minutes. “The Timber Paths Have Sung Their Last Refrain” is a lovely, dare I say tranquil beginning. Nothing can do us harm. There are no wolves…yet. The rain falls, and the grizzly bear that goes by the name of heavy distortion cuts through the camp, rampaging through the music and obliterating the calm, peaceful vibe. It rages. The air turns colder, and a trail of smoke, once a lackadaisical joint, disappears. “For Roaring Woodlands” leaves behind a gentle, dreamy spell that will capture you and never let you go. Despite the cold shower that is reality, Lost Trail are telling us to keep watching the skies; they want us to believe. This is where they were heading all along. But the music is also beautifully realized in Zachary Corsa’s accompanying poem “Wraiths“, which you can read below. (James Catchpole)
In youth there were days of such blinding splendor
that in each scratched and faded photograph we’re wincing,
as if all staring at the sun in our backyards,
collectively waiting for some fantastic rapture to descend.
In those times I knew every fire road like my own skin,
every bone and vein of those rutted secret trails
carving at the forests beyond the neighborhood.
This was my topography, our permanent abandon.
Now those lines have wandered away into hovering mist
between bent branches, disappearing beneath leaves and logs
or ensnared in the rusted teeth of bear traps yawning metallically.
Now the timber paths have sung their last refrain
and haunted, shrink softly into the horizon.’
Poem By Zachary Corsa