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San Diego quartet the Lanterns spent most of 2010 touring and playing sold-out shows with international acts such as And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead and Surfer Blood. Buzz started to circulate around the band and their melodic noise rock.

Kanine Records, which put out Surfer Blood’s debut, showed interest and asked to hear new material.

So, in August 2010, the Rancho Bernardo High alums, Lowell Heflin, Sean Liljequist, Loren Hiew, and Adam Piddington, set out to record debut full-length YNG WZRDS with Keith Milgaten at SDRL Studios in Golden Hill.

“We recorded three songs in four days. They sounded good, but it just wasn’t the right thing,” Heflin tells me by phone. “When we went to record, we wanted something newer. It sounded like we were in a rush.”

The band decided to postpone recording and quit playing shows in order to write new songs and focus on the concept of their debut.

In September, Lanterns went to Earthling Studios in El Cajon and recorded an EP, Apocalypse Youth, and asked owner-engineer Mike Kamoo (a multi-instrumentalist for neo-new wavers Lights On and drummer for garage-rock band the Loons) to record YNG WZRDS.

Now, five months later, Heflin says the change in mindset was the right decision. The band has a dozen songs recorded, and they hope to wrap up recording in April for an August release.

The Lanterns now have two gigs booked — one on February 7 with indie-rockers Robotanists at the Silverlake Lounge in Los Angeles and the following night with Lights On at Soda Bar. After the back-to-back gigs, the band will concentrate on finishing YNG WZRDS.

“The goal is to have a bunch of songs and then pick the songs that tell a story,” says Heflin. “That’s most important. If some label wants to help us release it, great. If not, then we’ll release it ourselves.”

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