Photo by Peter Woodford
I remember seeing Lantern years ago in a basement in Pilsen, Chicago because the Philly trio of Emily Robb, Zachary Fairbrother, and Christian Simmons completely stole the show. Even as they attempted to wash out their melodies as much as the other droning bands, the noise couldn't blare out Lantern's flare for catchy 60s psych pop. Their first album came out on a cassette from Night People that felt like some undiscovered redux of The Madcap Laughs.
However, this latest and second LP, Black Highways and Green Garden Roads, suggests that Lantern's wiped off the dust in favor of cleaner, more straightforward interpretations. While the songs themselves are more complex and inch away from 13th Floor Elevators towards something a bit more prog, the album retains the vintage charm of that first release with garage pop harmonies between the two vocalists, especially on stand-out tracks like "Dont Worry Baby (It Won't Be Long)" and "On My Side." Emily Robb and Zachary Fairbrother make a great songwriting pair as they switch off between their respective takes on late 60s classics.