Lantern specialise in a distinctive garage rock that owes a debt to folk as well as high-energy rock ‘n roll from the 1960s. On Black Highways and Green Garden Roads, from the Sophomore Lounge label, they bring together these two extremes and some psych and surf as well, just to be sure they don’t sound like anyone else.
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- Black Highways and Green Garden Roads by Lantern
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Folk-destined psych outfit Lantern have won over Norman hearts in the past, and I can see why: their gentle, almost forgetful approach to garage rock’s conventions makes one feel like they’re listening to a jam from fond friends, rather than a presentation from a faraway band trying to succeed in your ears. ‘Black Highways and Green Garden Roads’ opens with whimsical, if-it-sounds-good-play-it strums of the guitar and La La La vox aplenty, suggesting that this sound just kinda comes to them. It turns into a proper psych album almost against will, with “Another Turn” seeing the band amp up while keeping that lofty breeze sailing on through. All in all, nice psych music from thee chill crew.
Lantern will recall your nu-psych favourites, be they a more pop-malleable Goat or, as Mike once suggested, a junior Uncle Acid. In honesty, though, there’s something delightfully no frills about them, a peeling back to merely recognisable, if not proper, qualities of psych rock: the vague ‘60s nostalgia, humming harmonies and wahing twang of “Wait, Wait”, or the skeletal chords of “Black And Green”.
As the band settle in, they find tempos that most naturally reflect their Day In The Park way of living, and it’s those ones I like best: the whistling keys and washy effects of “Happy” are ultimately just there to justify the lazy day chord sequence and yawning bass that (sorta) drives it, but it’s this atmosphere of total, accidental tranquility I love best. For you see, I wish I was in bed, and I love a band that can read my mind.
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