Friday, January 20, 2012

Kent State/Doleful Lions split CS (2012)

As a lot of you prolly know already, Nick from Kent State is inaugurating the new year in fine fashion by dropping a triad of split cassettes on us.

This one, with Chapel Hill's Doleful Lions (now based in Chicago), is an auspicious start. Whereas KS' previous release, Walk Through Walls, wore its Guided By Voices influences on its sleeve (to the point of covering "Pimple Zoo"), they're going for a heavier, washed out sound on this tape. The guitar is a lot less colossal than the heroes of this genre-Dinosaur, Jr., MBV-but the slurred vox, blurry guitar, and echoed drumming all make me think of flannel, long hair, and bad downers. "DNA" may be my favorite KS tune: artfully wasted double-tracked(?) guitar, hazy J. Mascis-esque singing, and an artfully wasted sensibility really set it apart.

Chapel Hill/Chicago's Doleful Lions have been around since 1996; this is the first I've heard by them. "Solar Christmas" and "Night Castle" are clean, undistorted, tightly constructed pop tunes. The arrangements are beautiful, and somehow remind me of this rich girl I accidentally fell for in high school.

 KS and Doleful Lions together are a good antidote to January depression. Pop this on, turn on your sunlamp, and get wasted, bro.

You can download the tape for free, and buy it for $5, on Kent State's bandcamp page. Or you can save some cash and buy this with the other two tapes in the split series. Which I'll be reviewing in the next week or so.

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