Monday, April 30, 2012

Shake, Rattle & ROAR: The Lions - "Untitled CD-R" (Advance Review, Digital)

"This one's an exclusive for the Stones Throw Digital Discography subscribers: It's a sampler of a few tracks off the upcoming album by The Lions, which we're planning to release this Summer. We've made just a few of these CD's, strictly for non-commercial use. The Lions are a 12-member Reggae group from Los Angeles."

- Stones Throw @

(1) Seemingly the title track from their upcoming debut, "This Generation" was quietly premiered on Stones Throw's J.Rocc-curated Podcast #70 (January). The Lions meld together their vast musical "chops," employing a gaggle of original Roots Rock Reggae-reminiscent sound effects. Pretty sure "This Generation" discusses the fact that kids these days, while often misguided, are getting back into tasteful music and means of playing: 12" vinyl... Check out the Dub [remixed] version up above.

(2) "Roll It 'Round" plays out like a clever mix between Motown and 2 Tone, complete with a horn section. I must admit that Black Shakespeare's thick Jamaican accent is slightly difficult to understand @ times, the meaningful tidbits surely shine through and you can tell that every word is truly coming from his heart! Hands down favourite line: "And if you want me girl, I'll feed you appetite. Sprinkle little pepper and we shake a licka spice, too." Juxtaposed against a smooth chorus with assistance from Malik Moore & Deston Berry's sweet Falsetto stylings, a 3-part harmony which kinda remind me of Mayer Hawthorne.

(3) As weird as it sounds, "Let's Go Out Tonight" kind of has a Stevie Wonder meets The Impressions/Miracles ladies-love-me [brazen] jam feel. Frankly, it's over before you know it. But man, what a nice little 2:30 Pop ditty! When it comes down to it, this track is a Dancehall-inspired composition that namechecks a few other assorted genres of influence. "Let's Go Out Tonight" features Black Shakespeare toasting on the verses, backed by Alex, Malik & Deston's smooth as velvet 3-part harmony.

(4) "Picture On The Wall" (Dub) is essentially laid out like most Reggae Dub tracks: A precursor to the original track, you can tell that this re-mix contains fragmented chunks of it. Kind of cool because you can speculate as to what the final version might sound like, if you mentally cut/paste assorted sections from "Picture On The Wall" together. Dub music was birthed out of the 1960's as a sub-genre under Reggae. Lee "Scratch" Perry, King Tubby, and Errol Thompson were amongst the first to manipulate and re-shape recordings, generally putting emphasis on the drum-bass "riddim" section.

(5) "New Girl" (Dub) - Please see above description, mon. ^
Stones Throw is expecting to liberate The Lions' new album "This Generation" right around July 2012. Little details were available @ press time, but stay tuned for further, solid album release specs. I'm sure it will be a densely layered album full of varied, mixed styles: Motown, 2 Tone, Psych Jazz, Soul-Funk, Roots Rock Reggae, Dancehall, Hip-Hop, Rocksteady, and much more!

* Editor's Note: Shouts to The Lions' producer-guitarist, Dan "Connie Price" Ubick for clearing up a few areas of concern and further certifying this piece "Kosher." Expect to see a featured interview and companion mystery playlist COMING SOON!

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