Lanterna

Highways (Badman)

Lanterna is guitarist Henry Frayne's (the Moon Seven Times, Area) solo project, with Highways being his fourth album under this guise. Although primarily recorded on guitar, the music does not sound as if it is missing something, nor does he get carried away with excessive, showy noodling. Leaving just the right amount of space amid the sparse elements, he creates full-bodied instrumentals using a well-placed delay pedal (which he is best known for), along with help from drummer Eric Gebow and co-producer Mike Brosco on tape effects.

Frayne's rich and detailed playing is layered in a fashion that allows the co-existence of heavier, more textured guitar riffs with calming acoustic strums, without relying on either vocals or bass -- both of which are inconspicuously absent. Although gentle and unobtrusive, Highways is not background music. Rather, it is reminiscent of U2's the Edge in parts, particularly on "Brightness." At other times, such as on "Canyons," it evokes Echo and the Bunnymen's "Killing Moon," and the title track is pure dream pop. Despite Frayne's multifaceted approach, there isn't a great deal of variation in the structure of these songs, but there is a sense of peace that emanates from all of them.

 
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