The Lions Rampant It's Fun to Do Bad Things

It would seem the Lions Rampant fear not the garage shtick label, with their could-be obnoxious album title and self-proclaimed vintage rawness. Fortunately, not only does their bravado fit, but their debut full-length is good enough to elude a mere trend-spotting drive-by. Don't be mistaken: It's Fun to Do Bad Things is soaked in the same overdriven sonic clatter of every band currently trying to make a record sound like it's from 40 years ago. But on standout tracks like "Lights On" and "I Need (Your Love)," they're trading the genre's prioritized attitudinal aesthetic for songwriting exploration, Pixies-ifying the Rolling Stones' stolen Southern swagger and soaring through some transcendent power pop melodicism. Their blues punk howl often evokes the modern forefather ― Jon Spencer. But on the clean, foot-stomping, mid-tempo, self-titled track, with its hand claps and bridge of swirling psych pop organs, the Lions Rampant show that their strongest stuff is underneath the layers of bluesy mania, when their real pop sensibilities are bright enough to shine through. (Deep Elm)