Music Reviews


The Summer of the Lion, The Summer of the Lamb

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Throughout my stint here at Ink 19, I’ve alternately praised or condemned bands for sounding derivative. Knowing where to draw that distinction may seem completely arbitrary on my part, but all I’m really looking for is that little bit of competent tweaking that makes me enjoy the upstart album on its own terms.

Tiara’s The Summer of the Lion, The Summer of the Lamb is an album that goes the extra distance. If there was ever a bastard spawn of Weezer’s Blue Album and Radiohead’s The Bends, this is the beast. The opener “Something Good to Come” sets the stage for the band’s dialectical delivery. There are warm, fuzzy power chords set among perpetual high-string weeping. Manic-depressive over and undertones abound.

“In the Mirror of the Heavens” and “Everyday” come closest to the geeky optimism of Rivers Cuomo tracks, with their shuffling, quirky guitar interplay and falsetto backing vocals. Radiohead’s influence is more apparent on the album’s framework-building instrumental tracks like the haunted tropical melody of “My Name is Daniel” and the cavernous pagan swagger of “Hard at Work.”

With this album, Tiara show themselves to be skillful enough to attain the highest plateau of homage: creating an album that very much evokes the spirit of its predecessors while comfortably asserting its own presence. Listen. Now.

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