REVIEW: Read Between The Lions – “Pride” (2015)

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Read Between The Lions are one of my favorite bands right now. They’re a hoot to watch live, from their stage banter to their anthemic take on indie rock complete with catchy melodies and beautiful harmonies. I’ve been waiting with bated breath for their debut EP, and now it’s finally here. After several listens, it’s clear that “Pride” is contender for EP of the year. It’s a strong debut for a band who are only going to get better, and I must say I’m pretty excited with what comes next from this band.

If you listen to bands like Hey Mercedes, Jimmy Eat World, or even The Gaslight Anthem, you will find a lot of things to love about this record. “Pride” opens with “Boy on Fire”, with its infectious melody sticking with you even before the song reaches the end. The second track, “Runway Lights”, continues this trend. In tracks like “Runway Lights” and “In Light of Recent Events” Jordan Constantino and Jerros Dolino prove that they’re a tight rhythm section, with their no-frills style serving the songs perfectly.

The third track, “Parallax”, is arguably the catchiest track in a record filled with catchy songs. The infectious melody makes this the perfect choice for the record’s lead single. However, my favorite track from the record has got to be “Hawi”, the EP’s sole Tagalog track. There’s something inherently nostalgic about the song, and it brings you back to the time when quality Filipino bands like Sugarfree dominated the airwaves. Frankly, it’s a song I wish I had written. The record ends with the jumpy and unabashedly poppy “In My Dreams You’re Real”, and it’s a great way to end “Pride”.

With just 6 tracks, “Pride” doesn’t overstay its welcome. Although I wouldn’t mind if it was longer because the songs are just that good. If I have any qualms about it though, I wish the record sounded bigger. I honestly think that Read Between The Lions’ style of music would benefit greatly from “arena rock”-style production. However, considering they were only a three piece when they recorded “Pride”, I’m willing to give them a pass.

Right now, Read Between The Lions is a four piece with Jordan Constantino now playing guitar alongside vocalist Eric Po while Lloyd Corpuz has taken over bass duties. Watching their performances with their current configuration, I must say that they have found the missing piece to their sound.

“Pride” is a beautiful EP, but I’m really excited to hear what they’ll be putting out with this current lineup.

 

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