Joshua Lanes - The Dance Thunder EP (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Joshua Lanes

The Dance Thunder EP (2008)


The third release from San Diego-based Joshua Lanes finds a group with obvious talent drawing on a great list of influences but creating an unfocused, scatterbrained end result.

The title track kicks things off with a Sonic Youth-style crunchy guitar progression and bus-chase drumbeat, even getting delightfully dissonant with the bridge guitar lead. The vocals are buried and a bit nasal, but nothing cringe-inducing. "Theft on the Floor" is even noisier with some grungy riffing and more disguised vocals with distortion on ‘em. This track is lacking in any melodic elements in the instruments and vocals so it doesn't do much for me.

"Slaved and Tame" is a chill track and starts out with tinges of SY or Yo La Tengo but when the vocals join in it takes on a more typical emo vibe. Not a total loss, though. "I Love Your Love" has another damn vocal effect (some phaser thing) but the backing is a nice Built to Spill-influenced ballad. It is, however, a bit long and the chorus lyrics (the title) are a bit silly. "Hot Coffee" brings things down the most with acoustic and light electric leads. In this drum-less tune, vocalist John Anthony's weaknesses are fully exposed, and while I love a raw vocal, these are a tad painful in the missing of high notes and cracking.

This EP shows promise from the group but they need to narrow their sound and find themselves. While there is nothing wrong with variety, tracks like "Theft on the Floor" and "Hot Coffee" are the work of two completely different groups. I can definitely relate to wanting to play to all your tastes. Keep at it, guys.