Monday 22 October 2012

Daddy Lion - Habitat

Album review by KevW

Thanks to the wonders of modern technology (well, GarageBand has been around for years now, but you know what I mean) musicians have the ability to make studio quality sounds from the comfort (not to mention avoiding over-priced studio time) of their own homes to a standard that simply wasn't possible to previous generations. This technology is rendered ineffective if you have no clue about production, mixing, engineering and generally making songs sound as they should. As such, the GarageBand generation has thrown up some top-notch homemade music, but that's not to suggest it's an easy way out; some bloody awful sounding bollocks has been created using this technique too. If you can utilise this software and have the songs and the vision to go with it, the results can be a high enough quality to match hundreds of dollars worth of studio/production time.

South Carolina one-man band Daddy Lion (or Jeremy Joseph to his mates) has just released his second self-made record, 'Habitat', which is written, performed and recorded entirely by the man himself. You wouldn't think it though, that technical knowhow plays a big part here, if you knew no better you'd most likely guess this was the work of a trio or a quartet, or at least a solo project backed by an actual band. With regards to the songs, we're looking at reasonably conventional indie-rock; it's the sound of a traditional rock-type band with occasional keys/synth fleshing things out. There are some nice touches on this album that do enough to lift the songs from quite nice up to very good. It's the small additions that many wouldn't think of that achieve this.

The handclaps on 'The Scientist's Lament' and the dreamy backing to 'Electric Malaise' are two such examples. The stuttering and desperate 'Disconnected' is a particularly high point that incorporates many different layers of sound, likewise the slightly spooky 'The Driver' with its tidy backing vocals and guitar solo, plus the hazy yet powerful 'Survivor's Guilt'. A couple of tracks fail to really ignite, such as 'Samsara' or 'Uranium-235' which sounds like a huge song trapped in a tiny body and is only allowed to spread its wings towards the end. Like many a decent album, one of the best tracks is saved for last and the uptempo 'No Solution But Resolution'. On this album Daddy Lion proves that he has got what it takes to put this universal equipment to good use, and all in all 'Habitat' is a job well done.

Daddy Lion's website

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