Sunday 30 September 2012

I Fight Lions - Splendid EP

EP review by KevW

By the sounds of it, I Fight Lions is an ever evolving music project that gravitates around sole permanent member Hywell Pitts (formerly of The Dirty Words) and a rotating selection of musicians from North Wales. So we immediately just chuck in comparisons to Gorky's Zygotic Mynci, Super Furry Animals, Race Horses and Topper and then it's job done, yeah? Well not in this instance it's not. Despite this laid-back approach, fluid line-up and not taking their music as seriously as some more straight-faced bands doing the rounds, the songs on this EP are snappier, and despite a few unusual effects and general sense of anything goes, there's less of a psychedelic aspect. You could perhaps say they share a style and similar ideals to Half Man Half Biscuit, The Wedding Present or even a lo-fi Arctic Monkeys, a comparison that's been drawn before.

That doesn't mean an assault on the countries arenas is imminent, these songs are too ramshackle and frayed around the edges to win them such a universal acceptance. The hectic clatter of 'Carousel' and 'Frankie Goes To San Fernando Valley' have the potential to become a shambolic live experience, but this contagious energy lingers around for the rest of the EP and is very much a blueprint for what follows, although the pace drops just a touch. It's a bit of a whirlwind that won't be to everyone's taste (a possible admission of this comes in 'I Should Quit' when Hywell sings about "songs that don't make sense to anyone but me"). These songs will make sense to plenty of people though, it might be a chaotic racket at times but 'Splendid' is an endearing record and one that's created with bundles of enthusiasm, no small amount of wit (see 'Crooked') and a few lovably shabby indie-punk tunes. It suits us just fine.

I Fight Lions' website

Buy the EP

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