With the accessibility of music today, hearing bands and their influences through their music is inevitable and unsurprising. Unfortunately, for every appealing mockery you get 3,000 rip-offs. Robbers On High Street aping Spoon comes to mind and, of course, the popular rip-off artist of the moment Owl City, who practically admitted to copying The Postal Service sound.
Occasionally there are the rare examples where you say to yourself, “Wow, this sounds exactly like , <insert popular, genre defining band> but it’s still great!” and that’s just it; an act can tastefully wear their influences on their sleeves without sounding talentless.
For example, without Joy Division‘s moody, melancholic expression there would be no Interpol. The Brothers Wilson paved the way for the Fleet Foxes with their intricate and lush harmonies. Regardless of how ridiculous it may seem for preppy, educated white kids to dabble in world and afrobeat rhythms, the Talking Heads beat Vampire Weekend to the punch by over 30 years.
Although on a much smaller scale, Daddy Lion fall into the latter category. The unsigned band from Washington D.C sound like all of their influences (listed on their myspace) and they’re all the better for it. A hint of Joy Division can be heard on ‘Falling to Pieces‘, Hüsker Dü can be heard on ‘Just Die Young‘ and ‘Morning‘ could easily be a Dinosaur Jr. B-side slow burner.
According to NPR, it’s a bedroom breakup album by a semi-stalker using the name “Daddy Lion” as a pseudonym… you know… a typical stalker move. But stalker or not, his varying display of songs make for a good listen, and even though it’s a “break-up” album it doesn’t bog down with sadness.
Although they only have a 6-song EP to their credit, they cover a lot of ground in those precious 19 minutes, mining the past 30 years of pop influences. My hope is that they hone in on a specific genre for their follow-up, or risk falling into that previously mentioned latter category.
This post written by Adam, aka Simon & Cougarfunkel
Tracks available from http://daddylion.bandcamp.com/