Sunday 22 June 2014

Just Lions - Great. Okay EP

EP review by KevW

Being an Englishman and seeing our football team (The Three Lions) get knocked out of the world cup in the group stages for the first time since the 1950s, I'm neither feeling particularly great or okay. There are no escaping lions in music though, and regular readers may be aware of I Fight Lions, Jupiter Lion, Lion Bark and Silent Lions, all of whom we've featured in the past. Still, our woeful defending isn't the fault of Portland, Oregon band Just Lions, who are actually doing a good job of making things seem a little brighter with their forthcoming new EP 'Great. Okay'. In fact, their alt-rock sound takes you back in time a little to the first half of the '90s, perhaps even 1994 when the US held the world cup themselves and England failed to even qualify... I digress, but I'm not bitter or anything!

The powerpop blast of the title-track has a fresh and breezy strum combined with just a touch of distortion and nicely blows the cobwebs away. It may be that college-rock scene that they're tapping into here, but they do it in a way that shuns direct imitation and keeps their sound lively. The poppier and more jaunty 'Everything Goes Away' affirms this by introducing a slightly more individual sound. There's even a hint of Queen about the guitar solo, and we don't find that in the indie-rock category very often. It's a catchy number though with some nice harmonies and a memorable hook. The raw power is ramped up a few notches for final track 'On The Road, and particularly its gritty intro. Harmonies are prevalent once more and the melody here could well be the strongest of the lot as the winding riff wraps its way around the song, resulting in a highlight. Our Lions may not have been firing on all cylinders, but as for these ones, well, if I had to pick from the two words they're offering in the title of this EP, I think "great" would be the one to go for.

Just Lions' website

'Great. Okay' will be available from June 30th on Bandcamp

Catch them live:

Just Lions EP Release // Animal Eyes // Bear & Moose
June 30 at 8:00pm in PDT, Mississippi Studios

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