From the opening notes of Lanterns’ latest CD-r, the perhaps Twin Peaks-inspired White Lodge, they sound a lot more electric than since I last heard them. The sound works for them on the opening track “Divine Slaughter Pavilion,” a single guitar jams out psych-blues evoking a more vibrant, as opposed to rustic, Ignatz. Meanwhile, electronics of some sort spew out chirping and groaning sonics. Really it’s an incredibly simple piece, but something about is really affecting and hypnotic. They trick you into thinking there are more than two things going on. “Brohawk vs. Johawk” has a swirling, fuzzy guitar/synth thing going on covering up some skittering electronics. “They’ve Got Our DNA,” the default epic at 15 minutes, might be my favorite. It’s a woozy affair with guitar masquerading as wind chimes and static buzz and whir. I really like the slinky, understated tom tom pattern laid out underneath. The piece balances on a tense tightrope teetering back and forth between areas of calm and areas of agitated guitar abuse. A full drum kit kicks in eventually, thrashing out the hollow, repetitive rhythm as the guitar starts wigging out and the track heads into full-bore free rock territory. Totally gnarly and displaying sharp teeth Lanterns have previously kept hidden from me. “Hobo’s Meditation” recovers from the previous jam nicely; it’s mellow, glistening, sprinkled with melodic fragments. They manage to use the elements already employed earlier in the CD-r for an entirely different purpose, resulting in a lovely, misty piece with plenty of depth. The last track “Olene” is much more spacious. Unlike the rest of the CD, it’s pretty much just organ and vocals as far as I can tell, really drawn out and relaxing. Rather soft and feathery actually.
Lanterns have yet again proved they’re a talented group and I’m personally pretty psyched for the new direction they’re heading in. The CD-r is self-released and available from the band’s myspace.