Doleful Lions Out Like A Lamb

Doleful Lions songwriter Jonathan Scott has a ridiculous number of good ideas in his head. Sometimes he can't quite turn those ideas into satisfyingly complete songs (as was the case on 2000's Song Cyclops, Volume One), but when those ideas come together, it is a thing of rare beauty, and that is the case with Out Like A Lamb. With an obvious love of the Beach Boys (with one song even borrowing a line from "Heroes And Villains") and sharing a similar philosophy to adventurous contemporaries like Mercury Rev, Doleful Lions have an ambitious manifesto where they mix articulate lyrics and gorgeous melodies into something very special. Acoustic guitars dominate many of the songs on Out Like A Lamb, with the strumming intertwined with layer after layer of delicate vocals and other instruments. To untrained ears, it might sound like just another indie-pop band, but there's something remarkable going on here. Out Like A Lamb is one of the most understated albums I've heard, at least since the last Doleful Lions record. It doesn't use any kind of sneaky tricks to get your attention, relying instead on both craftsmanship and subtlety, which are revealed after repeated listening. It just keeps getting better and better, and with enough time and patience, it might end up being one of those albums that becomes an essential part of your everyday listening. (Parasol)