As Tall as Lions - Lafcadio (Cover Artwork)

As Tall as Lions

Lafcadio (2004)

Triple Crown

As Tall as Lions totally came out of nowhere in 2006 with their self-titled album, an ambient, indie pop masterpiece. Their arrangements are lush, their songs are honest, and damn, their singer can sing. Having seen them live shortly after the release of that record, I was blown away. I decided to look into their previous LP, 2004's Lafcadio.

With Lafcadio, As Tall as Lions find themselves producing a very rock-oriented, atmospheric indie rock, not much different than Days Away. Singer Dan Nigro's vocals really shine on this record, with him effortlessly wailing over beautiful, shimmering guitars. Drummer Cliff Sarcona and then bassist Brian Caesar represent a solid rhythm section, keeping the heavy melodics in check. In particular, Cliff Sarcona keeps his percussion interesting throughout the entire album.

As Tall as Lions constantly find themselves setting up a heavy musical atmosphere track after track on Lafcadio, usually highlighting each with a huge climax. Perhaps the greatest strength of Lafcadio is found in As Tall as Lions' ability to make their big tracks sound huge, and immediately turn around with a truly intimate, slower and quieter track. Such an example of this can be found in the transition from the huge, soaring, and anthemetic album highlight, "The Carousel," to the humble, beautiful "Acrobat."

Lafcadio is simply a beautiful record. Producer Sean O'Keefe did an excellent job producing this album, with perfectly punctuated snares, and excellent guitar tone all around. The piano-heavy "Silhouettes Silhouetting" provides the finest example of this.

It's honestly a shame that As Tall as Lions had found themselves trapped inside the "emo" scene at the time of this release, because it went mostly under-appreciated as a result. Highly recommended.