Risen in the form of neon fume from Philadelphia side-street sewer lids come LANTERN. Orbiting around the songwriter duo of Zachary Devereux Fairbrother and Emily Robb (with the auxiliary addition of Montreal-import Christian Simmons on skins, also of Sheer Agony), Lantern is what rock ‘n’ roll was – loud, oozy, inspiring, perspiring, pummeling directly forward yet cloaked in the arcane.
Over the course of three years and an impressive handful of releases (six EPs and a 7″, for those of you studying the horses) on labels like Bathetic and Night-People, Fairbrother & Robb have spawned a sonically relentless dark-force, twisting, perverting, and penetrating open ears with the scent of rotten, sultry soul, fanged fuzz & wah, boogie-downers, jungle night-moves, exercises in exorcism, black leather, and sex. Inspired by their idols: The Rolling Stones, Stooges, Bo Diddley, Cramps, MC5, Bowie, and all the originators of R&B and blues, Lantern are taking their own whack at the punching bag that is the great American folk tradition/condition/religion — Rock ‘N’ Roll music.
This summer, they fold it in on itself with the release of their latest album (and 12″ vinyl debut), Rock ‘N’ Roll Rorschach into the stinking hot heat of early July A.D. With the help of fellow Philly engineering magick-maker, Jeff Zeigler (Purling Hiss, Kurt Vile, Clockcleaner) behind the boards, the record marks a shift in sound from the blown-out hiss of lo-fidelity, four-track home recordings toward a more balanced and discernable breed of raw, unflinching power.
Lantern’s sound melts genres together, rockabullying weirdo blues into a frenzy of fuzzed-up soloing and glammed-down dance beats, ultimately resulting in a mound of grooves garnering moves from the ’80s/’90s garage-rock rattles of Dead Moon, Gibson Bros, and Billy Childish to the ’60s/’70s pre-punk lore of Hasil Adkins, Flaming Groovies, or even The Velvet Underground. Rorschach is a testament to the age-old odyssey of rock ‘n’ roll, searching for something “advanced” (dare we say “futuristic?”) in paying homage to its primal whims and primitive-earth foundation.
The true treasure is the exploration itself. And with that, what are you waiting for? Let the needle dig into this slab of cold-black wax, bang your head unconscious, and wake to realize that boogie is a fuckin’ bodily instinct, not an activity choice.
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