In my mind there are some cases when a band suddenly changed radically its style. For example when hc/punk Beastie Boys changed to hip-hop in 1983. When new wave synth pop Ministry became an industrial metal act around 87. When Metallica lost himself in 90. When one of the most thrilling thrash metal bands Voivod made a psychedelic rock album Angel Rat in same year. When industrial band Laibach became a successful cover band first, and then became a synth-pop band during the years gradually. And now here is the long awaited new Lantern album Black Highways and Green Garden Roads. And as if it were made by an other band.

After their sensational wild rock’n’roll album they have released an easy, almost distortion free, sometimes dark psychedelic folk rock album, “taking ideas from the work of Hieronymus Bosch, Carl Sagan, and Mikhail Bulgakov”. “It’s an exploration of the natural world and the cosmos, and a celebration of the wonderful, the serious, and the absurd.” They also said that it’s a result of many oversteeped pots of black tea.

It was recorded at The Bottle Garden, a home studio in Montreal filled with vintage gear and an array of instruments during 22 non-sequential days over a year and a half in 2013/14. More so than previous recordings, it is a collaborative effort born of studio improvising and collective exploration. They used new, unfamiliar instruments, such as organ and kalimba, and they experimented with tape loops and group harmonies.

Really fine songs – except for the cover version of Solomon Burke’s Cry To Me from 1962. It’s a mistake, just like the Rolling Stones’ version. (Listen to the original one.) The songs come Roy Orbison, 60s Rolling Stones, psychedelic era Voivod, and Illés (Hungarian beat legend) to my mind. And there is the bass theme of Dead Kennedys’ Holiday in Cambodia in the song We Are Here:

But the album is too long. And unfortunately badly edited, so it is hard to listen from first to last. It would have been better if there an LP with 10 songs and an EP with 4 (He Is A Pinball; Wait, Wait; Cry To Me; We Are Here Again) had been released.

Cassette by Fixture Records (Can) & LP by Sophomore Lounge (US)

Listen to it here


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