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May 18, 2004

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Pedro the Lion’s solid indie rock foundation is brilliantly displayed on the band’s newest Jade Tree effort “The Achilles Heel.” Fans of the band’s previous best piece of work “Control” will be extremely impressed at how well the band has kept up with their authentic sound, and how they have progressed and taken their indie rock to a whole new level.

“The Achilles Heel” is filled with eleven tracks of elegant indie rock elements and folkish twists all led by the brilliant leading vocals of the band’s mastermind David Bazan. Bazan’s storytelling methods in his music are best conveyed with “The Achilles Heel” as opposed to previous works such as “Control” and “It’s Hard to Find a Friend” among other Pedro releases.

While listening to the album it seems to have a very simple sound, but when the lyrical content is evaluated, the material is more complex than one might have thought. Leave it up to Bazan to bring complexity to the material that he turns not only into brilliant ideas and lyrics, but into the entire length of “The Achilles Heel” as well.

The first standout track on “The Achilles Heel” is “Foregone Conclusions,” a witty, catchy acoustically driven track driven by storytelling simplicity. The song “Transcontinental” is also a brilliant Pedro track, one of the best Bazan has ever created.

“The Achilles Heel” is a masterpiece for indie rock music. And although it has its emotional ups and downs the record is far from the term “emo.” The album grabs at the emotional aspects of fans while keeping the indie elements and acoustic sound on overdrive, allowing everything to flow perfectly together. Pedro the Lion have created the record of their career with “The Achilles Heel.”

Rift Rock

Ashley Munno