Music can be therapeutic not only for the listener but also for the musician. Musicians sometimes describe an album as a snapshot of where they were during a particular time period. The recent Self Pride EP from Ryan Pooles aka Lazy Lion Club was intended to capture and summarize certain times from his life and put them into his music. Whether he achieved that or not is hard to say but from the listener’s perspective there must be a connection to the music that resonates in some way. Luckily for you and me, Pooles’ attempt to capture times in his life results in well- crafted songs that meld electronic and organic elements into formidable pop songs. The songs on Self Pride are clean sometimes dance worthy songs that focus on atmosphere and mood. At times I was reminded of Wild Nothing.
Pooles eases you in with “Tasting The Storm,” which combines a hypnotic, delayed electric guitar with bass and drums that create a grounded groove. The whirlwind of sound feels like a pre-emptive measure before the explosion of sound. Interestingly enough the song never really leaves the almost psychedelic mixture of sounds into the dance worthy tune I was expecting. The song instead focuses on atmosphere while also mixing in catchy vocal work.
The arguable highlight and most single worthy song was “ While You Wait.” Pooles gets everything right here including a slick bass line that brings to mind a group like The Stone Roses. The song is darn catchy when he sings “While You Wait The World Is Turning.”
“Back Burner” is held down by a steady kick drum and loose electronic sounding elements. It’s not a hard-hitting dance track but is certainly something you can shake your hips to. Around the two-and-a-half minute mark the song has a visceral explosion before settling into a slightly altered verse. Pooles restraint and use of dynamics is notable here and benefits the song.
The closing track “Crossed The Line” is an on the verge of epic instrumental track. For the first time Pooles flirts with post-rock bringing to mind bands like Explosions In The Sky and even early Mogwai.
Self Pride has some missteps but is a solid starting point for Pooles. The songs are well written and quite easy to enjoy. Recommended.
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