Those Young Lions
Those Young Lions is from a Midwest City left for dead. The constantly (and erroneously) brushed over Indianapolis scene has given wide swath for locals to burrow outside any national glare and cultivate a rich schism echoing the state's iconoclast history: from the jacked-up, teenage rave ups The McCoys to class outlaw John Dillinger. Those Young Lions assimilate those into part spit-tooth protest/street anthems and lacerated ballads: a right-on soundtrack for crawling out and setting fires.
This self-titled debut, Those Young Lions, twirls from art-splattered Bomp-styled rock to a minimalist approach on Tom Verlaine guitar solos and pop-laced sing alongs all while remaining grounded by the roots of British punk. Their take on combat rock holds itself close to the slice n’ bump agit-groove of The Pop Group – entering the dance floor is a definite option here. Yeah, it is easy to discern their interest: Faces, Clash, Hasil Adkins, Keith Levene, Richard Hell & The Voidoids, Buddy Holly and local cousins like The Problematics, but Those Young Lions combine it all into a potent, boiling intensity melded by Tony Beemer who commands with his smoke-torn vocal that never looses rhythmic flow. Teetering between political malaise and pop-life buckshot, Beemer's lyrical observations pull away from contemporaries inclined to late-night/good-times and focuses on societal ills.
For the past plus-decade, these four lions have been a part of Indiana's bar-packing, style-crowing groups. Guitarist and vocalist Beemer was the drummer for America Owns The Moon, heralded by many as a top tier of most beloved Hoosier groups; bassist Kris Messer was in the maximum rock and roll-fueled The Slurs. Drummer Devon Ashley (The Pieces) and guitarist Sean McGary complete the group. Working with producer Paul Mahern (singer of the legendary Zero Boys) this 7 songs release is captured with a post-1976 sheen of fierce, crystallized voltage all recorded direct to tape.
Affirmation Records is Mahern’s resurrected imprint that has issued The Master Tapes, 1983’s notorious Midwest hardcore comp, and recent recordings from John Wilkes Booze (Kill Rock Stars), Courtney Kaiser and Gentleman Caller.