Tommy Keene has enjoyed a cult following for more than three decades without ever becoming a household name. His guitar-based power/pop has yielded 11 studio albums, four EPs, three compilations and one live record over the years and he’s back at it with solid new platter “Laugh in the Dark.” This comes on the heels of 2013’s terrific covers album “Excitement at Your Feet” and features 10 brand-new original compositions.
“There were always songs left over from the last project or ideas that hadn’t been fleshed out,” Keene explains. “What I’ve done in the past before starting to write for a new record would be to demo a cover or resurrect an old song of mine that I liked but never made the final cut for an album. But all the songs on ‘Laugh in the Dark’ were started and finished last year from April to October. I started with a completely fresh slate on this one.”
Keene is in impressive form throughout the 10-track, 37-minute set. Things get off to a strong start with “Out of My Mind,” “Dear Heloise” and “Last of the Twilight Girls,” and he also delivers the goods on the title track, “Alone in These Modern Times,” “I Want It to Be Over Now” and “All Gone Away.” It’s nice to see that the 57-year-old Keene has plenty of gas left in the tank. (Jeffrey Sisk)