Let the good people know that in Lawrence, upon some dead fall night, a man named Dan Davis rose from the corner stage of the Replay to become Living Ghost — a guitar-slinging beat boogieman with a mic that hurls echoes to the depths of hell and back. Curiosity drove me to downtown Lawrence. I wanted to finally witness the sonic crossover to supernatural. I paid the three dollars, entered through the back, and pulled open the patio door. Living Ghost was hot on the other side — where, out of an opened brief case, a four-track played a set of scraped, ragged beats, and Davis rapped in slow motion, looking deeper in our eyes after each song.
And where were you? In the basement scratching your crotch as St. Louis limped across home again? The Replay TVs flickered — from here, the soundtrack to the World Series was a backdraft of hot noise kindled by those who prefer punk as their pastime. Wichitans represented, Philadelphians cavorted, and undead Lawrencians arrived from a too-quiet Mass Street.
Out back on the patio, Zachery from Lantern — who’d just driven in from Philly — told me he’s actually from Nova Scotia. His band sounds like harsh North Country blues melted into goodness-gracious lead balls of fire. The ballistics in the rhythm section dismembered the crowd. They went from amphetamine dirges to stoned funeral marches to barbed-wire covers of “It’s All Right” and “Money (That’s What I Want).”
L5? Read it as boy-band and it lends little to the band's canny grooves. L5 cans the bright white heat of the Velvets and drills it deeper underground, where they uproot frat rock and proto, no, paleo, punk. They resurface and Frankenstein it, clubbing their influences around until the decayed tissue twitches, until it’s — this is when our cigarettes fall from our mouths — alive.