In a fairer world it would be The Lost Patrol leading the country/goth-pop revival rather than Howling Bells. 2005's 'Lonesome Sky' album was essentially the same sound but was significantly superior to the Howling Bells' effort thanks to a more consistent batch of songs. 'Launch And Landing', their fifth long player, is another fine record but its different approach won't be for everyone.
Key to The Lost Patrol are two elements: their echoed twangy guitar noises and the powerful vocals of Danielle Kimak Strauss. Sensibly the band focus on these strengths. 'Sirens' is a great start; a rich glistening song full of mystery but its relatively fast pace is rather unrepresentative of the rest of the album, where more refined moods are the order of the day. 'Take Me Away'is pitched at just the right level for dreamy romanticism, 'The Whim And The Will' and 'Speak To Me' experiment with Cocteau Twins-esque guitar effects whilst the a capella 'Tears Of The Sun' tell us Kimak Strauss would have also fared well on a This Mortal Coil record. Overall 'Launch And Landing' shows the group's willingness to expand their horizons without losing their trademark sound but it's questionable whether the lighter material included here will expand their audience beyond the 4AD crowd.