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A thing about Lantern, the band we’ve been spotlighting all week on Unlocked. Sure they make solid recordings, and their new one – Rock ‘N’ Roll Rorschach – is easily their best. But they can play. You could append that to say “play circles around” plus whomever you’d like to compare. Seriously – they’re tight, they’re charismatic, they high-precision and unhinged at the same time. Plus, if you’re lucky enough to catch them on a show with drummer Chris Wilson (of Ted Leo’s Pharmacists) or saxophone player Dave Fishkin, it’s an all-out throwdown. Below, we’ve gathered a collection of videos from the band’s Philly appearances this year. Documented by YouTube videographers Pilgrim’s Progress and Live Philly Concerts, we see Lantern playing Kung Fu Necktie in January, opening for Pissed Jeans at Underground Arts in February and at Johnny Brenda’s in April. Watch them and get amped to see Lantern at JBs again this Friday for the Rock ‘N’ Roll Rorschach release show.
Let’s try a bit of free-association. Loud amplifiers and long hair. Crackling vocals, screaming voices. Blues riffs in B, watch me for the changes, try and keep up. Howlin’ Wolf and John Lee Hooker. The sound of a tom drum, a bari-saxophone, a bass and a cymbal colliding, with a handclap on the downbeat. These are the things that kick “Evil Eye” into motion (okay, I’m not entirely sure it’s in B, I just liked the Back to the Future quote), and with it the debut long player from Philadelphia’s Lantern roars out the tracks.
The band is known around these parts for being hard working and hard touring. They’ve criscrossed the country at least three times since we first heard of them a couple years ago. Their discography, as we mentioned yesterday, is a lengthy assemblage of limited-run, lo-fi, home-recorded singles or three-track EPs. It’s a collection showing the affinity that partners (creative and otherwise) Zachary Devereux Fairbrother and Emily Robb have for blues music, early rock ‘n’ roll, and the lore that goes along with it.
The new Rock ‘n’ Roll Rorschach, out next week on Sophomore Lounge Records, shows what those fasciations sound like when taken out of the basement. With a dramatic increase in production value (and a generous retention of sonic grit), these songs are big, booming, aggressive and unruly. This album is Lantern realizing the potential of its vision. Continue reading →
Philly garage-blues act Lantern is about to take a huge leap forward. After a hearty discography of self-releases, limited-run cassette singles and EPs – mostly gritty and defiantly lo-fi in nature – the band is about to release its debut full-length, Rock ‘N’ Roll Rorschach, on Sophomore Lounge records. While maintaining the volume and grit of the rock and roll underbelly it explores, the album steps aggressively into hi-fi production and arrangements – which includes a tasty baritone sax on the song “Evil Eye.” All week we’re exploring the album on Unlocked, The Key’s regular series on new and significant releases from Philadelphia artists. Later in the week we’ll an album review, a live chronology and an interview with bandmates Emily Robb and Zachary Deveraux Fairbrother. Today, it’s a download of the track we were just talking about, “Evil Eye.” Below, you can download it all week courtesy of the band, and make sure crank your speakers – Robb rules hard on the lead vocals. Check back every day this week for more on Rock ‘N’ Roll Rorschach.
After a long run of limited-run cassette releases and lo-fi 7″ singles, Philly power trio Lantern is getting ready to release its full-length debut on Sophomore Lounge Records – and it sounds great. Today the band premiered the track “Evil Eye” at Impose Magazine, and the Jeff Zeigler-produced jam makes good on the overdrive-pedal boogie we saw at Underground Arts this winter when the band opened for Pissed Jeans. Bassist-guitarist Emily Robb takes lead vocal, with thundering drums and a horn section, and it carries hints of John Spencer Blues Explosion, Chuck Berry and John Lee Hooker. The album will be called Rock ‘N’ Roll Rorschach, it’s out this summer, and it features a playful, wildly occult album cover (pictured above) photographed by Alyssa Robb and art-directed by the band. The band celebrates the release of Rock ‘N’ Roll Rorschach at Johnny Brenda’s on July 5th, tickets and information are available here.
Local rock n’ roll trio Lantern will bring the noise to Kung Fu Necktie tonight. The amount of music the band has is immense, with nine releases available on their Bandcamp; the latest, Dream Mine, was released in May 2012. The band delves into both the psychedelic realm of rock, as well as its ripping and visceral nature with their heavy feedback and raw vocals. Dream Mine even goes as far as exploring the depth and haunting nature of ambient noise, and the crowd will surely be bobbing their heads furiously, as well as discovering a side of rock they may not have heard before. Tickets and information with Adult Content and Split Red can be found here. Below, check out the song “Out Of Our Heads” from Dream Mine.
Last week at the SXSW Music Conference in Austin, Texas, The Key editor, John Vettese, and I saw a collective 58 bands in 3 days. Here are ten that stood out:
Sir Sly – This five piece from Los Angeles have a confident and charismatic front man, grooves and hooks galore.
Little Green Cars – Dublin’s Little Green Cars charmed us with their gorgeous harmonies and finely honed control of rock and roll dynamics. Lead singers Stevie Appleby and Faye O’Rourke are like the Buckingham/Nicks of Ireland.
PAWS – This three piece from Glasgow play very catchy, garagey, fuzzy, guitar driven pop-rock. Just the way we like it.
The SXSW PHL showcase wasn’t the only place to see musicians from the Delaware Valley last week. A wide variety of musicians from the region made the trek, with a wide variety of approaches. For instance, Wilmington’s New Sweden did the barn-burning powerhouse thing, not only playing a packed tour on the way down, but jamming in an impressive (and as yet unquantified) number of SXSW showcases into its itinerary between Monday and Saturday. Other artists took it light, by comparison.
We caught Kenny Vasoli’s Vacationer in their last show of South By Southwest on Saturday night at the infamous Hype Hotel venue, sponsored by The Hype Machine. It was the breezy electronic pop band’s second of two shows, and the relaxed pace left Vasoli in the most exuberant of exuberant moods during their set.
“This has been the best experience I’ve ever had at South by Southwest,” he reminded the crowd at uber-frequent intervals. Like, seriously, in between every song of their 30-minute set. “It’s been such a great few days, and I’ve got all of you to thank for that.” Back in his old pop-punk band The Starting Line, Vasoli probably got swept awat in the hammering gauntlet that the industry festival can be – hence the easygoing approach this time. He’s not alone. Continue reading →