The last Lost Sounds, Black Wave, had me super confused. There were parts I truly liked, but, man alive, if I’d space out for a bit, I’d glance back over at the stereo and feel that someone had stuffed a sea urchin and some tight underwear on me and thrust me into a prog-rock desert party whence I got a body-wide, nasty sunburn. It got me downright confused. But, Rat’s Brains & Microchips rectifies that by chopping down the song length, stripping the trippiness, and comes blazing out confidently. Instead of gingerly picking influences off the ground like garments at an over-stocked Goodwill, you get full tackles of a bunch of diverse shit. Especially when Alicja takes the vocal helm, there’s Siouxie and the Banshees but with rusty blades and Converse instead of fake eyelashes feel. There’s a real nice balance between ethereal – led by the synthesizer and cello – and the deranged and garagey (albeit intergalactic garagey) that makes me think of both Servotron and Man or AstroMan, but they’re definitely taking cues from a deep, dark, swirling well of their own. The result is the record I was hoping for the last time around. I can’t seem to take this off my stereo. Flat-out fantastic.