Lost Horizon

Musicians have been exploring the majesty of the electric-guitar sound almost since the instrument’s invention, but it’s only recently that a spate of instrumental rock bands has sprung forth in dedication to it. Friends of Dean Martinez (the “ez” was added at the behest of the Dean Martin estate) was ahead of the curve in this regard. Formed in Tucson in 1994 by guitarist—and, yes, Deano fan—Bill Elm, the band originally cherry-picked players from the Giant Sand/Calexico/Naked Prey triumvirate and conjured sonic landscapes alternately lounge-smooth and weather-beaten. Elm moved his operation to Austin seven years ago, and the latest edition of FODM, Lost Horizon (Aero), packs aural muscle into a set that has bolero, flamenco, and spooky cinematic flair. Unlike a lot of rock instrumentalists, Elm creates atmospheric music with real staying power. J.M.

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