June 1, 2004
PEDRO THE LION [I]ACHILLES HEEL[/I] REVIEW
It's unusual that David Bazan of Pedro the Lion reminds me so much of a couple of Toronto-area songwriters, Hayden and Ron Sexsmith. Languid tunes for dreary times, unusual religious sword-swinging, dark rural family tales -- it's a recipe for a strangely exhilirating distress. I'm supposing the tales of disaster (like "Transcontinental" that starts with "engine severs lower legs") give the listener a feel-good perspective on their own life. Cautionary tales. Even the benign-sounding "Bands With Managers" ends with "vans with fifteen passengers are rolling over". Bazan's 2002-release "Control" seemed too electrified to beg comparisons to singer-songwriters. By this, his fourth release, there aren't any surprises, just the expected twists in the narrative. You don't know what twists will be, but you're prepared for them. All your senses are heightened. It's like that They Might Be Giants song "John Lee Supertaster", everything on this CD is more delectable. It's not punk rock, nor emo, it's acoustic indie rock. It's wordy song-poetry. It's intimate and intelligent. Music for active listening.
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