DE LION's mini-album titled "Trash, Birds? Rats. Idea!" is a very interesting album. They formed in Tel Aviv and New York in 2009, and now we arrive in the year 2011 with a piece of music that has the potential to be a "classic" album for many listeners.
While I am not overly familiar with alternative rock (as I typically write it off as generic and using primarily pop song structures and pentatonic scales), this album initially grabbed me on it's opening track "Trash, Birds? Rats. Ideas!" in a way that I can only describe as Jersey-style indie rock in the vein of bands like Brick and Mortar. And in all honesty, that is the band I constantly find this band reminding me of; though they utilize many more instruments. As an extension of this compliment, I have seen Brick and Mortar live twice; and have thoroughly enjoyed their debut album on many occasions. I would describe the atmosphere they produce both live and on record as structured, laid-back aggression. DE LION falls into this same atmosphere.
As previously described, DE LION falls into a genre that is more eclectic than simply "alternative rock." Though on the surface, I can understand why they stick themself in this genre; they are undoubtedly much more than that. Their compositions are intricate and complex, though they are easy to follow which will make them very interesting to witness in a live setting. They are very psychedelic sounding. They frequently find themselves in verses that are very bass driven, which works effectively given the vocalists singing range. Chorus' are aplenty, and very quirky on the whole. Returning to the vocal stylings, they in many ways remind me of artists such as The Blood Brothers; yet more accessible than that. He is by no means afraid of becoming slightly dissonant, which in this case adds to the "hardcore" indie rock feeling this album gives off. Guitar effects are constantly used to heighten the atmosphere. I'm not sure there is very much I can complain about, and that should be a very high compliment as this style is not one I regularly find myself listening too.
LYRICS AND SINGING:
While the singing is generally clean, oftentimes I found the vocals to be "muddy" sounding. With that said, it does fit the atmosphere of the music. However, understanding the lyrics can sometimes be a daunting task. For this style of music, it is not completely necessary though. The chorus' are built to sing along with like good pop music, and the rest of the music just leads to a trippy/headbanging sort of atmosphere that actually hearing the lyrics is not what is most important. From what I have gathered, the lyrics are not exactly feats of lyricism to harken back to days of Shakespeare; but is that what you want from an album like this?
I am actually surprised that I found myself liking this album so much. It is not really my style, but as a musician I can really appreciate what DE LION has created. The production is pretty high quality, and the compositions follow suit. Some stand out tracks include the album opener "Trash, Birds? Rats. Ideas!", "Circles", and "Professional Arouser." I would definitely check this band out! I give this album a 8/10.
Check them out at http://www.reverbnation.com/delion