As Tall As Lions – As Tall As Lions


Album

As Tall As Lions

Label

Taperjean/Shock

Year

2008

Genre

For Fans Of

Chamberlain – The Dear Hunter – Minus The Bear

Summary

Who would’ve thought self indulgence could be so enjoyable...

Rating

86 / 100

As most of you would be aware
of the behemoth that was the 2008 Soundwave Festival recently made its
way around the country. On a whim I decided to check out the side show
for the highly touted The Dear Hunter (who were amazing by the
way). What I wasn’t expecting to see was As Tall As Lions belt
out a note perfect rendition of the Leonard Cohen (later covered
by Jeff Buckley) hit “Hallelujah”, a remarkable feat when you consider
the vocal acrobatics required to pull off such a song. 

Having been relegated to the import
only sections of record stores for far too long the kind folk over at Taperjean have taken matters into their own hands and given the
New York based As Tall As Lions a local release for their self
titled album, complete with bonus live footage for those of you who
weren’t lucky enough to catch the band on their last couple of Australian
visits. 

If you’re a fan of instantly
accessible pop songs then As Tall As Lions might be a bit much for you, however their arrangements and lush instrumentation
are nothing short of captivating if you give them a chance.  

“Stab City” is a gentle introduction
to the record, one that shows vocalist Dan Nigro in full flight as his haunting melodies combine with everything from
sparse piano parts to a horn section in the song’s chorus. Compared
to the almost jazzy swagger of the previous track, “Song For Luna”
is a bit more direct and therefore a little easier to digest, while
“A Break A Pause” is a stripped back tune (from a musical point
of view) that lets main man Dan take the lead. 

My favourite song of the record
is “Love Love Love (Love, Love), a bass heavy number that has the
groove and presence of something you’d expect to hear in a Las Vegas
bar. Couple this with the strongest chorus the band has penned to date
and it’s no wonder that this track is a standout. The upbeat temp
of “Ghost Of York” brings As Tall As Lions’ pop elements
to the forefront of their sound and yet again they have another climatic
chorus to back up the more subtle elements of the song.  

“Milk And Honey” starts of
as a quiet, guitar driven ballad and not much really changes over the
course of its four minutes, yet for some reason ATAL are successfully
able to hold my attention, something that many bands simply aren’t
capable of when attempting this kind of song writing. The term heavy
is most definitely not applicable when describing any of the songs on
display here, however “Be Here Now” is definitely the most traditional
sounding song on the album, in the sense that it relies on a straight
up rock riff to power its chorus. 

On its own the acoustic balladry
of “I’m Kicking Myself” is a decent song but when it’s compared
to the remainder of the material on offer it doesn’t stand up, while
“Where Do I Stand” has a serious Sigur Ros vibe to it and
finally “Maybe I’m Just Tired” brings the album to a powerful
close.

Conclusion

This is another fantastic release
from the Taperjean homestead and is highly recommended for anyone
who enjoys something that’s on the lighter side of the musical spectrum.

Tracklisting

  1. Stab City
  2. Song For Luna
  3. A Break A Pause
  4. Love, Love, Love (Love,
    Love)
  5. Ghost Of York
  6. Milk And Honey
  7. Be Here Now
  8. I’m Kicking Myself

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