The album has remarkable pep and energy, even if the ballad-heavy last third drags a little.
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.