Lunchbox's Tim Brown and Donna McKean have been making records for two decades, inspired by 1960s/70s AM-radio pop and TV show theme music, punk, C86, and mod à la the Creation and the Jam. "After School Special" finds them at the height of their powers of songcraft and performance. Donna's Carol Kaye-meets-John Entwhistle bass and Tim's scratch 'n' jangle guitar are complemented by horns from Gary Olson and Jeremy Goody, while whisps of analog tape feedback and Evelyn Davis' keyboards give the record an otherworldly vibe in keeping with its autumnal lyrical themes. From the shimmering opener "Dream Parade" to the horn-driven mod-pop of "Hide and Seek" and the haunting male-female vocal stylings of the title track and album closer, the textures shift while the unity of artistic vision remains. Catchy as hell and beautifully packaged, this is Lunchbox at their very best.