Claiming to find comfort in a blanket of obscurity far away from LA and its mecca of hipster clubs, Joshua Lanes want nothing to do with your so-called “scene.” Instead, this Long Beach band place value in being unlike anyone else currently traipsing around stages. “We don't use a keyboard live, we don't do perfect three-part harmonies, and I'm not going to try to sing like David Byrne,” quips vocalist/guitarist John Anthony.
It's an honorable declaration, though Anthony's reluctance to play pretentious clubs and become a local celebrity could be passed off as a cop-out, veiling a fear of being, well, shitty. This was the band's attitude around the time they released their full-length album Insert At Rib, and it seems some changes may have occurred since '07. Take Exhibit A: Joshua Lanes' new disc, The Dance Thunder EP. Its namesake track is an upbeat, foot-tappin' jam with the lyrical hook “Everybody wants to be known.” Oh, really? That's quite ironic.
But anyway, The Dance Thunder EP (unleashed not long after Insert At Rib) takes a break from the group's grunge-worshiping tendencies and focuses more on brighter, nu-gaze-y, sway-worthy sounds. Joshua Lanes' former aversion to spotlights may have evaporated, as the band have seemed to realize they're pretty good. Tracks from Insert At Rib such as “Saxony N the Blackhole of Love” look back to yester-decade's dirty guitar buzz and loose drumming style, while “Candy Cane Lanes” is a sweet, twinkling serenade. So while the full-length got the buzz going, and The Dance Thunder EP has kept it alive, it appears the band will just have to get used to the fact that anonymity is no longer an option. I'm sure they're totally bummed.
Attention Orange County/Long Beach musicians and bands! Mail your music, along with your vital contact info and decent high-resolution photos (plus any impending performance dates) for possible review to: Locals Only,OC Weekly, 1666 N. Main St., Ste. 500, Santa Ana, CA 92701. Or just be lazy and e-mail your MySpace link to firstname.lastname@example.org.