It's about time more good stuff started creeping out of the neon-tinged Los Angeles tar pits, and this week's BREAKING SOUNDS entry comes from Wounded Lion, who have the honor of being one the best acts in town. With this fine debut 7" on S-S Records, the LA-based quintet slams down the perfect prescription for your raw pop addiction with two heavily contagious songs that break down the sophisticated strut of rock'nroll's simplest parts. It's hard to dissect their exact frame of influence, but with severely effective songwriting such as this, it really comes secondary, and you'll soon see how a bleak environment can pull the best creativity out of a sterile gutter and come out with a handful of winners. The a-side's "Carol Cloud" kicks right off with primal drums that instantly grab your attention, and the rollicking beat salaciously bashes your inhibitions into a delicious corn chowder. Corny? Kinda, but in a really good way, where the vocals echo fragments of the early 80s New Zealand sound, sans the atmospheric nuances, and strip everything down so the bare raw hooks sink in deep. The b-side's "Pony People" has a similar effect, but condenses the pop formula into a slightly more obtuse framework, including a drum track that had me jumping up to check the needle, thinking my copy was defective the first several spins. Luckily, I was wrong and it goes to prove another axiom in that Wounded Lion steadily step outside the boundaries of the typical pop frame to forge cleverly written songs that not only carry their own weight, but underline the fact that for the first time in ages (outside of The Smell scene), something interesting is going on under the surface in LA.
Reports from last weekend's massive Budget Rock 7 fest proved the point even further as Wounded Lion won over plenty of new fans and reassured us that their live shows are just as enjoyably penetrating as their recordings. So without further rambling, it's best that you stop and go pick up the debut 7" right HERE before they are gone, and that terrible empty feeling rushes over you.
Check out the awesome music video for the "Pony People" track, right here.