Lol Tolhurst x Budgie x Jacknife Lee have announced news of their debut album Los Angeles due out November 3 via Play It Again Sam and available to pre-order here. The hard-hitting 13 tracks on the album dive into freedom and slavery, beauty and decay, hope and despair, and feature an astonishing list of guest vocalists and musicians including The Edge (U2), Isaac Brock (Modest Mouse), Bobby Gillespie (Primal Scream), Civil Rights avant-garde artist Lonnie Holley, Mary Lattimore, Starcrawler wild child Arrow de Wilde, Mark Bowen (IDLES) and more. The band has also shared the album’s title track and first single which features James Murphy (LCD Soundsystem), along with a video.
The three-way Los Angeles collaborative long-player was born out of a curiosity which just wouldn’t die. Made up of two of the most illustrious and inventive drummers of the post-punk era, The Cure’s Lol Tolhurst and Budgie from Siouxsie & The Banshees and The Creatures, along with stellar producer and multi-instrumentalist Garret ‘Jacknife’ Lee, this unlikely alt-supergroup have spent the last four years spiriting up one of the most extraordinary albums to appear in 2023.
Perusing the track list with its guest credits, you may rightly wonder just what the 13-track long-player holds in store. The answer: a hard-hitting and compulsively exploratory 55-minute electronic head-fuck, founded on unrivaled rhythmic expertise, fleshed out with an armory of synths, guitars (Jacknife’s forté) and supplementary percussion, often overlaid with elite-class strings and brass, then universally twisted, manipulated and quite masterfully sculpted by Lee, with his super-producer’s hat on.
As per the title, Los Angeles is a journey into the dark heart of contemporary LaLaLand, the city of its birth, a place of limitless possibility, yet also a diseased and consumptive hell-on-earth which, to quote Murphy’s lyric on the title track, “eats its children”, where pipe dreams shatter, racial inequality prevails and homelessness spirals. Throw in the terrifying uncertainty occasioned by the global pandemic, which both interrupted and ultimately aided its genesis, and the ‘new Cold War’ terror that has ensued, and you get a record fueled by fear and tension, but whose propulsive beats, mind warping, mangled instrumentation and exceptional vocal contributions provide release through the palpable joy of their creation. Far-sighted and visionary, it lands just in time for those Album of the Year polls.
In addition to the album, Lol Tolhurst will also release his second book, GOTH: A History, on September 26 in the U.S. via Hachette. The engaging historical memoir of Goth music and the culture explores creative giants like The Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Bauhaus, Joy Division, and many more great bands that offered a place of refuge for the misfits of the 80s and ever since. GOTH offers a fascinating deep dive with stories and anecdotes from Tolhurst’s personal memories as well as the musicians, magicians, and artists who made goth an inevitable and enduring movement.