As Tall As Lions – Into The Flood EP
Record Label: Triple Crown/East West Records
Release Date: November 27, 2007 (Digital only)
One of the funniest things about music is reading band blogs on myspace. Some groups are intelligent and profound (As Tall As Lions fit easily into this category), thus reading about what their dog did that day or about a new sweater purchase simply cracks me up. It’s hard for me to think of bands as normal, breathing people. In my mind they are entities living only inside my speakers (kind of like the Jukebox band in Shining Time Station). As Tall As Lions wowed me from the first time I heard “If I’m Not Out Burning” on an otherwise worthless compilation years ago. So reading a moderately lighthearted blog about putting an EP out quickly tickled the hairs on my neck, due to both fear and joy. The result was Into The Flood, and it’s apparent that time is but a number to Nigro and the dudes. They are humans, yes, but not like you and me. We think with a small percentage of our brains, while As Tall As Lions think with the entirety of their hearts.
If you need, take some time to dry your eyes. I’m blubbering like a big, cynical baby over here, too. Into The Flood couldn’t have come at a better time with its warm, fluttering atmospherics pushing the gloomy weather far away. “505” starts things off with long strums on a violin while songmaster Dan Nigro's scratchy wail wanders indiscriminately in the background. “Into The Flood” is a cross-section between the band’s two prior full-lengths. The pop of “Break Blossoms” and the freewheeling nature of “Ghosts Of York” make for, as you can guess, an unbelievably good track. Into The Flood takes a concise frame and expands the edges until they are completely unrecognizable. Then, slowly…
A feeling lacking proper adjectives takes over; the listener becomes a single note in a universe of guitar strums.
If you haven’t heard “Blacked Out,” the above statement might sound like hippy hogwash. (You might still feel that way after hearing the song, though.) Guitar effects not out of place on Dark Side Of The Moon ring in my ears. Nigro sings things like, “They bleed through the day / They creep through the night.” Where’s the warmth I yammed about? Well, it comes in the form of listening to a nearly flawless song. The snare drum dances about, the bass grooves slyly and guitars strum from a time machine stuck in the 60’s. I don’t even have to tell you how magnificent Nigro sounds. Throughout Into The Flood, he deceives. His delivery is slow and long, but there is never a hint of boredom or loss of urgency. He is truly a wonder, despite where such scene allegiances may lie. If this is what they can now do in six days, I can’t even imagine what “normal” circumstances will bring. But, I will wait as long as it takes, for there aren’t many bands getting better with each note. As Tall As Lions are, undoubtedly, one of those bands.
Recommended If You Like: Sleeping At Last, Alive In Wild Paint, vacations in Prague, Snow Patrol, haunted vineyards