Just Lions – Monsters


When I left work on Friday evening I was booze-bound, off to meet my Best Man and friends from home via a quick trip to the Tattershall Castle to drink onboard ship in the sunshine. The opening bars of this song are the ones that I wish I had been hearing as I began my mission, game-face on, no cares in the world, a hard week of work completed and unable to trouble me again until Tuesday morning. Sadly my headphones broke so I settled for the sounds of London streets, until now.

Sitting down now, looking out the window into brilliant sunshine just like that of Friday afternoon, with a day of outdoor possibilities ahead of me, the song has the perfect context. And I would still gladly have this as the accompaniment on my journey into fun. Opening with strong hints at ROCK courtesy of filigrees of feedback, it snags you with the insistent, pounding drums that have me jiggling my legs like a loon as I type and then it has you totally suckered with a euphoric fuzzed-up guitar intro.

But it lies ! It isn’t a straight-ahead tumultuous rocker – although those elements come back – it’s sweeter than that. I might personally prefer it as a continuation of that blistering opening track, but it also might have been indistinguishable from any number of other tracks of that ilk that I already own. So better for them that they intersperse those Jim O’Rourke-y fuzz-and-feedback rifferies with handclaps (YES ! if you’ve written a summery tune, this is the way to my heart), glockenspiel, strings and piano. In fact the song moves without trouble between rocking and the more contemplative verses – it’s probably the fact that they retain the underlying drum rhythm and a choppy guitar to keep the pace up, even while singer Chandler Strutz wonders about the heartbreak to come. This mix works out just fine, even when the horn section arrives towards the end. That leg-jiggling and foot-tapping never goes away, nor the smiling…

“Now all my regrets are Monsters

Waiting just outside my window”


p.s. Can you guess where this band is from ? That’s right: Portland, Oregon. What is it with the Pacific Northwest ? Keep it up City of Roses.




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