Despite high-profile gigs with bands like Matt and Kim, …And You Will Knows By the Trail of Dead and These Arms Are Snakes, the Lanterns have operated mostly under the local radar. But, thanks to a critically acclaimed EP and two crucial shows on the horizon, all of that is set to change for the four-piece band.
The four-song self-released Apocalypse Youth contains a scant 15 minutes of music, but the band makes every moment count. From the driving “Midnight Psalms (Alright)” to the blistering “Creation Myth,” the EP throws more hooks and spills more sweat than most full-length albums. Anchored by frontman Lowell Heflin's Tim Kasher-style vocals, Lanterns' noisy, melodic songs overflow with enough attention-grabbing energy and crunchy guitar to jump-start even the most slackened of pulses.
Though Lanterns formed in 2006, the buzz around them is only now starting to build. Last year, Alternative Press awarded them Best Unsigned Band honors. They've also got two great shows coming up: They'll be playing the Soda Bar on Feb. 15 with Diamonds Under Fire and the Feelings Mutual, and Bar Pink on March 26 with Best Coast and the much-hyped Surfer Blood.
Heflin has been quoted as saying, “We don't wanna bring anything to the table. We want to be the table.” Now, thanks to Lanterns' tour de force EP and do-it-yourself ethic, the tables may finally be turning.
Chris Maroulakos is a writer and editor for the San Diego music blog Owl and Bear.