Name changes can mean a lot of things for a band. Reshuffled lineups, abrupt stylistic shifts, religious conversions, cease and desist letters. With “Lance Mountain,” however, the outfit formerly known as Collin Thibodeauxx hasn’t so much reinvented as evolved. Live drums replace MIDI samples, recording fidelity is more Crooked Rain than Alien Lanes. Gone are the reverb-laden, dreamy guitars of 2015’s Nothing Buttrock, but the follow-up rightfully preserves its predecessor’s energy, economy, and attitude. A steady diet of live shows has tightened the trio’s approach to songwriting, instilling more brashness, more confidence, into their latest studio offering.
Speaking of attitude, Lance Mountain is unapologetically ironic, taking sideswipes at tailgatin’ normies (“I need some footballs to keep from feeling down”) and the dad-hat wearin’ indie milieu (“In the bathroom / I feel ugly / Cut my beard off / I look funny”) alike. It’s also unapologetically rock ’n roll, fitting right in with Citrus City’s new T-shirt-sized mantra, worn by one of Lance Moutain’s dashing cover models: “Dream pop is dead.”
Whether scholarly adjudication or personal revelation, this new approach to label curation has Citrus City looking more Exploding in Sound than Beko disques. With the recent success of decidedly guitar-driven bands such as Forth Wanderers, Horse Jumper of Love, and Hovvdy it’s no big surprise. And with the triumphantly reborn Lance Bangs at Citrus City’s core, there’s little doubt both artist and label are onto something special.
Lance Mountain is out September 6th. Cassette and digital available from Citrus City Records and Danger Collective.