You could have been half way through your Uni degree waiting around between Tired Lion recorded offerings but it’s worth the wait. They still have the controls set for the same planet that 2015’s “Figurine” took us, but Luke Boerdam (Violent Soho) has produced a more aggressive offering with a more linear approach to these songs, which are the best from the band to date. The album has an intended new grunge theme and there is no misunderstanding in what is on offer here – it’s like: “Stay for the party or fuck off”. Even if it’s not what you’d usually listen to Tired Lion have smashed it and deserve the Best in Show medal for the effort.
Vocalist Sophie Hopes exudes that brattish persona you’d adore if she were your niece but would put you in therapy if she were your daughter. Her sandy sunny vocals are the cowrie shell sounding the mood of the millennials. There’s no Beethoven to be experienced here, there is no blending of shades between the dark and the light, but then no one ever wanted to rock out to Beethoven did they? It’s fun and energetic music, punchy and dripping with “Listen to me…or else!!!” They’re moving forward and one day may outgrow guitar rock as a medium because the guitar experimentation on this album gets really interesting but for now let’s celebrate Tired Lion giving us music to riot to.
The opening track “Japan” wins the silverware and is worthy of more radio-play. It’s a declaration of youthful chest beating at its finest, it conjures images of what the band’s live set offer with the “punch in the face” back beat of Ethan Darnell’s drumming and the Brian Eno (esq) soaring guitar lines delivered by Matt Tanner. Special note to Nick Vasey on the bass too in “Where were you” for holding down the bass AND the rhythm guitar post, its a fluid and energetic track – great positioning on the album too, the album doesn’t lose momentum.
There’s a depth in “Cinderella Dracula” – written from the heart and emailed directly from the dark places we don’t go. If you listen to the lyrics this song is a message…. or a warning.
“Hawaii 5-0” is a cute little melodic lull in the storm among all the other tracks.
If you love Veruca Salt and Courtney Barnet get into this!!! This is likeable from the first track. The math is right on this album too, it doesn’t lose too much momentum for soppy ballads and the majority of tracks are under 3 minutes long (this type of punk logic has served Spiderbait. This is road trip music and should definitely be put on your Friday night playlist too.