Soul-rock is a permutation that often comes off as contrived,
but in the hands of Massapequa, Long Island-based As Tall As
Lions it is a natural synthesis, genuinely immersed in affection
and motivating movements. Their recent self-titled release is
the second in their discography, following last year's Lafcadio.
Their producers Steve Haigler (The Pixies, Fuel)
and R&B/hip hop songsmith Mike Watts shaded As Tall
As Lions' songs with vocal melodies that reach and pull in gorgeous
expressions of flexibility while the guitar tracks disperse, invert,
and trickle over the melody. The rhythm sections are susceptible
to the vocal tempo and are magnified into full body thrusts on
the sprocket sections and then curdle into themselves on the retreating
What is new to As Tall As Lions are the piano and keyboard sequences
that drizzle and moan through the numbers, tailoring their shape
to match the vocal motions. As Tall As Lions express lengthy vocal
harmonies in these tunes, which draw out a more adhesive tapering
in the melodic curves and rises. Tracks like "Stab City"
have a finesse in the chord steps which mingle with the boasting
horns and keyboard groves. The lounging vocals on "Song For
Luna" are romantically inclined, and it goes without saying
for the song "Love, Love, Love."
The registers are elevating and the tempos range from mid-paced
to power ballad. "Ghost Of York" buds in its volume
and then offshoots into chapters of vocals accompanied by grooves
of piano and drum series. The saccharine pores on "Milk And
Honey" give the number an overflowing stock of sweetness.
"Be Here Now" blossoms and retreats through the progressions
bringing a theatrical element in its gossamer of emo-fused macramé.
The acoustics of "I'm Kicking Myself" introduce folksy
beads into the soul-rock lineaments. The number was completely
written and performed by lead singer Daniel Nigro. The
vocal slopes on "Where I Stand" are majestic and delightfully
watered in keyboard drizzles.
The final listed track "Maybe I'm Just Tired" is
a power ballad of sinking and rising proportions. The vocals
and instrument parts sink into low levels then float up into
majestic bursts before deflating back down, all done with complete
finesse. A minute later an unlisted track comes up. In a walking
or andante pace, the vocals smooth over the magma of chord pulses
that ascend through the bridge of the song. The chorus in the
background adds a vibrant texture to the tune, and though it
is repetitive, it fits in beautifully.
Beautiful music from band members Saen Fitzgerald on guitar,
Julio Tavarez on bass, and Cliff Sarcona on drums,
and beautiful vocals by lead singer Daniel Nigro, all confidently
performed is what As Tall As Lions' second release is offering.
1. Stab City
2. Song For Luna
3. A Break A Pause
4. Love, Love, Love
5. Ghost Of York
6. Milk And Honey
7. Be Here Now
8. I'm Kicking Myself
9. Where Do I Stand
10. Maybe I'm Just Tired
e-mail the chief
Like this article?
it to a friend!