Fate Lions was founded in 2007 by songwriter and front man, Jason Manriquez. And, though the band has seen a few incarnations, it has ultimately evolved into a quartet of talented pop, rock and folk musicians culled from the North Texas independent music community.
“In about a year's time, they've gone from so-so Americana act to one of the best pop-rock bands around. I'd have to tip my hat to 'em anyway just for doing what they're doing: conjuring up Nick Lowe-ish, R.E.M.-y, Elvis Costello-esque '80s radio pop. But the Fate Lions aren't just aping some sort of distinctive sound from yesteryear to milk sympathy from old nostalgic tools like me. They're being the real deal, expertly mixing jangly, cranky, countrified, Rickenbacker-tinged solos with snappy, toe-tapping beats and ooh-ahh-ing harmonies. “
-- Anthony Mariani, Fort Worth Weekly
The band spent a year recording Good Enough For You (an album title jokingly plucked from Manriquez's own experiences regarding family and, oddly enough, food) at Salim Nourallah's Pleasantry Lane studio in Dallas, Texas. Fate Lions was without a bass player at the time of the recording, so Nourallah stepped in to fill the bill while also producing the album. They have since adopted Tony Ferraro (Eaton Lake Tonics, Bob Fante) as their full-time bassist.
“Fate Lions, like Nourallah, make thoughtful but unrepentantly sumptuous pop with ear-tickling sonic flourishes such as creamy layers of background vocals, hand claps, tambourines, and enigmatic lyrics that step right up to the brink of melancholy but never fall into ennui.”
-- Jimmy Fowler, Fort Worth Weekly
Cory Helms (Polyphonic Spree, Professional Juice) filled in on keys, and regular band members Niki Saukam and Josh Hoover played guitar and drums, respectively. The result is a lush, bright and melodic pop album that takes its listeners through landscapes of 80s riffs and 60s fillers, while keeping its feet planted firmly in the present through brilliant tongue-in-cheek lyrics and original toe-tapping melodies.
“Saukam's and Manriquez's guitars retain just enough snarl to remind listeners of the mother lode of Teenage Fanclub, Elvis Costello, and Smiths songs that inform the Lions' sound.”
--Jimmy Fowler, Fort Worth Weekly
“Very retro '80s jingle jangle pop... Good Enough For You will certainly be ear candy for folks who dig REM, Matthew Sweet and the Bangles. Nice to know such thoughtful pop still has a place in the local scene.”
-- Darryl Smyers, Dallas Observer
Fate Lions are currently gearing up to produce an EP titled House Ferrari, with a tentative release date set for January 2010. The title of the EP is yet another joke from the jocular Manriquez who quipped, “We can't afford a Ferrari for each of us, so we'll have to share.”