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The Lapdancers

The Ghost of Alcohol and Song

(Free Agency; US: 8 Aug 2006; UK: Available as import)

Lap It Up

Side-projects are perpetually interesting, allowing artists releases for creative urges that wouldn’t normally be acceptable in the large-radio market.  Green Day unleashed utter silliness as the Network, Kim Deal managed to turn her home-demos with her sister into stellar 4-track demo rock (under the name the Amps), and countless examples still exist to this day.  So it’s hard to fault when Thomas Flowers (of Oleander) and Marko 72 (of Bad Astronaut and Sugarcult) wanted to do a side-project in which they unleash power-pop impulses of these otherwise-pigeonholed bands.  Opener “Still Here” is a great choice for a lead single, conjuring up late ‘90s alt-rock nostalgia and a prime front-runner for inclusion on one of those Buzz Ballads compilations some years down the line.  The album has remarkable pep and energy, even if the ballad-heavy last third drags a little.  Of those ballads, the sparse acoustic “Just a Little” proves to be a stunner, and it sure makes up for the times when Flowers’ lyrics hit really high on the Cliché Meter (“Invisible lover / I’ve forgotten your face” he croons on “Cover for Me”).  That said, during the brilliant and heavily-melodic chorus of “Drugs”, you can hear the yearning in his voice, and the band matches his catharsis note-for-note.  The only thing more tragic: that the Lapdancers might just be a one-time thing.  Here’s to proving us wrong.

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Evan Sawdey started contributing to PopMatters in late 2005, and has also had his work featured in publications such as SLUG Magazine, The Metro (U.K.), Soundvenue Magazine (Denmark), the Daily Dot, and many more. Evan has been a guest on HuffPost Live, RevotTV's "Revolt Live!", and WNYC's Soundcheck (an NPR affiliate), was the Executive Producer for the Good With Words: A Tribute to Benjamin Durdle album, and wrote the liner notes for the 2011 re-release of Andre Cymone's hit 1985 album A.C. (Big Break Records), the 2012 re-release of 'Til Tuesday's 1985 debut Voices Carry (Hot Shot Records), and many others. He currently resides in Chicago, Illinois. You can follow him @SawdEye should you be so inclined.


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