September 23rd, 2010 | Album reviews

carolyn pennypacker riggs

(From the self-titled LP out now on In the Red)

W Lion are punk at its irreducible minimum. That’s tons of fun because these songs shoot right through you; they’re that close to pure white light. “Degobah” rips, new “Carol Cloud” rips, new “Pony People” even tops the original classic by one fun percentage point. (If you like D chords and G chords as deployed by every much-loved lurcher from 1975-1979, believe me, you will D-G very much of this album.) But they’ve also got this barely there despair that comes from leaving so much unsaid. “The Twilight Zone” was great at this— remember the episode where the Navy guys hear faint tapping coming from the sub sunk twenty years before? That’s Lion—is something ALIVE down there? “Silver People” does it all: “Young people/speaking their minds/Coors Light/turning it loose/tonight!” approaches Flipper’s “Ha Ha Ha” for post-suburban nihilism, and that’s a big but neglected part what Lion does. Lot of V.U. here, lot of Clean, lot of Devo but lot of Flipper’s disgust and rage in here, too. Like the man says: “Who cares anyway? Who listens to what I say? This songs rhymes and we play it in tiiiiiiiiiiiime!” Screemin’ guitar solos on here, too.

—Chris Ziegler