As Tall as Lions - As Tall as Lions (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

As Tall as Lions

As Tall as Lions (2006)

EastWest / Triple Crown

When Brand New blew up, Triple Crown Records could have taken the easy way out and used those sales cheques to keep recycling the sound that brought them their biggest payday yet. It's certainly not an unpopular tactic, and it's an easy route to take. While Triple Crown hasn't been stamping hit album after hit album, occasional gems get through, and the sophomore self-titled album from As Tall as Lions is one of them.

As Tall as Lions don't sound like their hometown contemporaries. There's nothing that screams "Long Island" on this disc. Instead the band draws evenly from artists such as Sunny Day Real Estate, the Police, Interpol, and to a degree Minus the Bear and the Stills.

The band presents the listener with soft hooks and forward-moving beats that often time fall into more abstract or ambient structures before returning to a more comfortable and well-played mellow indie rock. Through most of the ride, there's little excitement, unless of course you are a fan of intricate melodies or cocaine. However, it's nice to see the band not trying to expand past their comfort zone, or that of the listener's. That's not to say the record is simple, rather As Tall as Lions seem to know the difference between trying to make something sound interesting and actually making something sound interesting.

While there are plenty of highlights throughout the record's 10 tracks, it does seem to drag a bit in towards the end. That said, I believe the music is supposed to drag along to an extent. This release isn't going to make anyone rush out to the dance floor. Nor will it induce even the slightest head-banging, but not every record needs to do that. Sure, As Tall as Lions' music is somewhat sedating, but you can't fall asleep to Dillinger Escape Plan every night.