The Lost Cavalry - Three Cheers For The Undertaker (Review)
Review by Jack Foley
EVER wondered what became of former Fanfarlo guitarist Mark West? Well, he’s now part of London-based six-piece The Lost Cavalry and doing very nicely for himself.
Formed in 2009 by West himself, the band have quietly been building their own fanbase off the back of acclaimed EP releases such as Waves Freeze To Rolling Hills and Snow City Radio, generating a reputation for delivering delicate alt-folk with epic roaring crescendos.
Now, they now drop their debut album, Three Cheers For The Undertaker and continue to endear.
As with their previous work, the album is full of songs that combine enticing melodies, considered lyrics and thoughtfully orchestrated treats with powerful story-telling values.
It’s at its finest when keeping these stories upbeat and melody-heavy, although occasional diversions into more brooding territory possess a certain Radiohead quality.
But for the most part, this works because of the combination of intelligent lyricism and easy-on-the-ear compositions. Snow City Radio has a beguiling quality about it (thanks to the wintery imagery that accompanies it), while Stars Are Ripe has a more robust sound that deftly showcases the band’s penchant for intricate layering. The guitar work is brisk and instantly likeable, while the inclusion of horns offers an extra layer of warmth to the otherwise bittersweet lyrics.
Stare Out To Sea, meanwhile, has a low-key, slow-burning quality to it that effortlessly evokes memories of the sea, while relaying its tale of memories and longing.
Admittedly, there are some tracks that lack the immediacy of the best moments (Fara Fara and Only Forward contribute towards a slight mid-album slump), but songs like Telescope (with its appealing intimacy) and Mono (with its slow-build towards epic status) restore the album’s quality.
While King of Kings slowly builds in power to a rousing finale that packs a real potency and, again, a cinematic sweep (thanks to some great string arrangements). It’s one of several highlights that make this band well worth checking out.
Download picks: Snow City Radio, Stars Are Ripe, Telescope, King of Kings