OK, I need to say something for full disclosure: I attended the same college as Pet Lions. No, we’re not friends or anything. But let’s be fair—Columbia College has served as the home to a lot of amazing indie rock bands (see also Maps & Atlases, The Netherfriends and the Scotland Yard Gospel Choir).
Pet Lions are working with the good people at AEMMP Records. Last year, AEMMP put out a compilation of local music (Chompilation), and this year, they’re focusing solely on Pet Lions. The indie-pop outfit is genuinely enjoyable. In a subtle way, their sound is very reminiscent of The Strokes. To boot, their EP Soft Right is damn near the catchiest thing I’ve heard this summer.
Shuhei, Tom, Karl and Matt are great musicians and fantastic performers. They may only be at the beginning of their game, but it’s clear that if they keep in the same direction as this EP, they’re going to be big. (Or, that is, they should be.)
Pet Lions – “Roman History” (from Soft Right)
The guys will be at Schubas with Empires and Big Science on Aug. 26. Here’s their list.
1) Pit Er Pat – “Trod A Long” (from High Time) – “This will undoubtedly be my summer anthem with its incessant dance beat laid out by one of the most creative drummers/producers in Chicago, Butchy Fuego. Lazer bleeps, poppy synth, melodica, and horns are seamlessly mixed by Pit Er Pat on this one, to make for a party of an experimental pop song.” – Tom Owens
2) Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) – “Souvenir” (from The OMD Singles) – “I really want to listen to this song while driving around in Europe.” – Shuhei Yamamoto
3) Kristian Anttila – “Hårt Godis” – “Sweden continues to produce amazing pop music from ABBA all the way to Peter Bjorn and John and Lykke Li. This lesser-known Swede is no exception. Spacious reverb and bizarre drum panning keep things interesting. Intriguing melodies make up for the fact that I don’t understand what Kristian is singing.” – Karl Østby
4) Beyoncé – “Single Ladies” (from I Am… Sasha Fierce) – “I try to either listen to, or even better, watch the video for this song once a day. While I am not a single lady, per se, this song reminds me to hold on to the things I value in life, or they may end up in a club somewhere, wearing tight Dereon jeans.” – Matt Dahl
5) Arthur Russell – “The Letter” (from Love Is Overtaking Me) – “Funky ’80s drums meets pop country from some superior planet with harmonies that can hardly exist on earth.” – Tom and Karl