Lantern - Black Highways and Green Garden Roads LP (Sophomore Lounge, 2016)
Lantern is a collaborative rock 'n' roll band between musicians Emily Robb and Zachary Devereux Fairbrother, both of Philadelphia, backed by Montreal-import Christian Simmons (also of Sheer Agony). With a slew of releases since 2010, ranging from lo-fi gutter-folk to full-on garage melters for labels like Bathetic and Night People, Lantern is what rock 'n' roll was -- loud, oozy, inspiring, vulnerable, pummeling directly forward, yet cloaked in the arcane.
On their second LP for Sophomore Lounge, "Black Highways and Green Garden Roads" (cassette version available via Montreal's Fixture Records), Robb and Fairbrother return to the work-shed where they left off on 2013's well-received "Rock 'N' Roll Rorschach," after taking a step back to boil down collective glam/pop/psych sensibilities and further sharpen their set of tools.
It's a complex collection of songs -- perhaps the band's most accessible and immediate to date, yet largely a result of considered experimentation. Harvesting new sounds in the studio by employing unconventional recording techniques, Lantern here arrives at an effort which weaves beautiful arrangements into technicolor lace, landing the overall outing a little closer to the greenhouse than the Funhouse lawn. Make no mistake about it -- "Black Highways and Green Garden Roads" is an ambitious and distinctly '60s-inspired rock 'n' roll record, rich with surf, soul, and hard rock textures to boot.
All songs recorded and mixed entirely analogue at The Bottle Garden in Montreal, QC.