While I am normally against the reviewing and/or rating of any sort of “greatest hits” or any other compilation, what merits Blac Static the exception is that most of the output of the Lost Sounds wasn’t that exceptional. This, despite the considerable talents of one of their members, the late Jay Reatard. I am a huge fan of Reatard’s solo work and I also like his first band, The Reatards, a great deal. The Lost Sounds, though, were often inconsistent. I was instantly drawn to their concept of being a more synth punk vehicle for Jay’s trademark screaming and warped time signatures, while bandmate Alicja Trout (of the excellent River City Tanlines) certainly contributed plenty to the group. But like the other Jimmy Lindsey side projects (though I acknowledge Lost Sounds as being far superior to the following: Nervous Patterns, Final Solutions, Destruction Unit, and the wholly forgettable Terror Visions), there was largely a magical intangible element missing that kept the band from being truly special.
In their 7 year existence, (though the band’s last album is ignored on the collection except for a demo of the song “I Sit I Watch I Wait,” which is superior to album track and perhaps the band’s finest moment) the Lost Sounds did have some memorable tunes and just about all of them are on this comp. The two highlights from Rat’s Brains & Microchips, the title track and their Columbine-influenced “Blackcoats/Whitefear”, are present as well as the two strongest tracks from their debut full-length, Memphis Is Dead (“Satan Bought Me,” and “Soul For Sale,”). Trout and drummer Rich Crook have astutely compiled a raucous and impressive cross-section of the group’s run. Many Reatard fans dismiss this band completely out-of-hand. And while I can understand not wanting to shell out for all of the LS’ discography, the selections on Blac Static truly stand out, making the comp a fine crash course well worth the investment.