The Stan Laurels
Death of the Sun (Plaid)
Reviewed by Doug Freeman, Fri., March 12, 2010
The Stan LaurelsDeath of the Sun (Plaid)
Nothing about the Stan Laurels is obvious. The one-man studio project of John Lathrop, Death of the Sun radiates tightly wound layers of pop and psych that bend the Zombies into the Flaming Lips, a surprisingly rich sound orchestrated solo. Equally unexpected is how Lathrop weaves decidedly offbeat narratives of sci-fi and gamer odes into disarming constructions, like the hazy sway of "Klaatu: Parts III, II & I" and piano bounce "Samaanya." Tongue in cheek is delivered with a lovelorn sincerity, double-take inducing lines such as, "Darling, I think that you love me because you're probing my ass" ("Alien Love Slave") sung in the most tender, dreamy glow. In 1960s pop infatuation and solipsistic visions writ large, the Stan Laurels hearkens locals Future Clouds & Radar, yet backside tracks like "Gone" and "Birth of the Sun" prove Lathrop best when his muse is more universal.