As posthumous releases go, the new 7-inch from Pittsburgh-by-way-of-Altoona’s The Lampshades, out today, is the exception to the rule in this fatalistic sub-genre: an afterthought of sorts that is actually a pretty worthy addition to the band’s considerable canon.
The trio always has injected its best work with the spirit of Brian Wilson and the pseudo-punky/poppy jangliness of Pavement, and the two junk-rock tunes on the new single clearly carry that mantle a few steps past where the excellent Astrology LP left off last year. For between-LPs studio asides, this is engaging, worthwhile stuff. Like you, I suppose, I’m just sad these guys decided to disband and go the way of the buffalo.
“Forget me not/ I’ll always be around,” frontman Jaren Love sings in his slightly jaded deadpan, on the A side, titled (posthumous-appropriately) “Forget Me Not.” “I’ll have the loudest voice/ and make the most sound.” Love’s voice is a centerpiece on the new single, as well it should be, a kind of Everyman compass point in the midst of disjointed verses and choruses. (When this thing does come crashing together, it exudes immeasurable charm.) Chris Kibler’s plucky, sometimes driving bass and the rhythm section’s effective pop-mold backing vocals also win the day. The B side, “Sadly True,” is a slightly less warbly offering, led in the beginning only by an acoustic guitar and Love’s lamentations on adulting. The full band joins and, like on the A side, it’s the little details, like that persistent, half-whistling synth, that command the listener’s attention.
The Lampshades, knowing how to wring the most out of these closing (well, post-closing) moments, also is releasing a video to accompany the fuzzy-all-‘round “Forget Me Not.” The four-minute video – which lovingly features a disengaged Love driving in his car, as well as various southwestern Pennsylvania landscapes and ephemera – reunites the band with director Camila Centeno. The team last worked together on the video for “Restless,” off “Numbskull Nothinghead.” Here’s the link for the new video: https://youtu.be/v8sPKJNxcTA
All in all, the new single is surprisingly good, an interesting little love letter from a band that was. Now, we just have to keep our eyes peeled for what these guys do from here forth. Mr. Love? Your move. – Justin Vellucci, MusicTAP, Aug. 30, 2019