Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Doleful Lions - Hang Around In Your Head

(Parasol, 1997)

Cuddle-pop that definitely skews more towards jangle than power, the Doleful Lions make stylistic semi-peers such as the Apples In Stereo seem like bruisers in comparison. The hopelessly sappy “Hang Around In Your Head” is a bush-league effort that falls flat in its attempt at simple pop winsomeness; the necessary hooks simply aren’t there and it runs out of gas with shocking alacrity. A slower cough-syrup style ends up working out better for the band on “Motel Swim,” a sparse, summer-night cricket-chirper that has plenty in common with the decade’s legions of post-Galaxie 500 dream-poppers. On both, however, the nasal, wavering vocals are a major irritant. Still: To be fair (perhaps too fair), these are early demos on here, so I’m willing to take a chance someday and find out if things got any better on the group’s handful of subsequent studio albums – their MySpace tracks (which include a Negative Approach cover?!?!) suggest that this might indeed be the case.

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