Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Music Review: As Tall As Lions - Into The Flood EP

This was published last month on Blogcritics, but I'm re-posting it here because it came out near the end of 2007 when no one cares about new music and thus needs more attention!

Long Island, New York has turned out a steady diet of hardcore and punk bands over the years, so when the British-influenced indie rock quartet As Tall As Lions came on the scene a few years ago, people paid attention. The LI natives released their debut album Lafcadio in 2004 and (self-titled) ATAL sophomore disc in 2006, to the raves of bloggers everywhere, including those at Stereogum, who labeled them a Band To Watch last year.

As Tall As Lions has toured with the likes of Sparta, Acceptance, Coheed & Cambria, June and Copeland. And fans have been so into their live show that the band tried to get their label Triple Crown/East West to release a live DVD this year. That didn't happen, but on November 27, the label did release their brand new EP Into The Flood, which is available on various digital formats, including iTunes, Amazon.com, and Rhapsody.

First song "505" starts out quietly but soon morphs into a cello-led, beautifully sad soft rocker not unlike early Death Cab For Cutie or Coldplay's "Trouble." However, where the more famous latter track is dreary in its mood, As Tall As Lions's "505" is more bittersweet chamber pop. And as you'll hear on this and other tracks on the EP, including its ambitious epic title track, singer Daniel Nigro's vocal range is considerably higher than Chris Martin's trademark falsetto.

The rest of this EP follows a similar path to the first two tracks and is worth checking out, but is not quite as memorable as the first two tracks. Nonetheless, "Blacked Out" retains a bit of that Coldplay flair mixed with a Jeff Buckley influence, even if the music isn't adventurous like the late crooner's best known material.

In all, Into The Flood is a largely satisfying appetizer for fans eagerly awaiting the release of As Tall As Lions's third album, due out next year. The EP is available now, so download all five tracks at Amazon.com or the band's Myspace page.

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