Just Lions – Great. OK

I’m worried about Chandler, and not for the first time. Before it was The Bing Man: increasingly strung out, sweaty, scrawny and unable to convince us that there was any light left with which to leaven his self-disparaging quips. Right now, however, it’s yer man Strutz who is our Chandler of Concern

There’s clearly trouble in Casa del Lions. Not artistic differences you understand; it’s just that Chandler ain’t happy. “Monsters” was an indie-pop gem and even if the bitter overwhelmed the sweet in “Paper Cage” it had attention-grabbing rock crunch and well-aimed percussion.

With summer’s release of the “Great. Ok” EP it feels as though Just Lions are feeling Way Down. That record name gives a fair amount away but the title track closes the book for us “Last couple of years been a bust … When I think I’m all out of luck/it’ll get worse.”

Elsewhere ‘Everything Goes Away’ is a pretty, folky tune but its heart is sad. JL try to convince us that all the painful memories will pass but they can’t persuade themselves: “I forget you all the time, just not right now.”
‘On The Road’ opens up with some great riffing and is a sprawling, decent ode to travels but it doesn’t quite manage to keep the momentum, although I have been humming it around the office for months…

I know Chandler’s an upbeat guy –
the press release that accompanied ‘Great. OK’ and his personal pronouncements show that he’s still trying to meet Bruce Cockburn’s exhortation to “kick at the darkness ’til it bleeds daylight.” Well, listen buddy, you gotta smash those blues. There will be an upturn in fortunes. Who loves ya baby ? We do.


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