Christians & Lions
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Christians & Lions

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Band Folk Rock

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


"The Tripwire"

"Are these guys really this good?" That's the first thing that sprang to mind when ECA co-owner Mary Kate sent over three MP3s from one of the label's forthcoming releases, More Songs For Dreamsleepers, by a band called Christians And Lions that wasn't even close to being on my radar (ECA has a knack for that). The influences were clear - indie, folk, roots, blues, country and pop. The songs were well written, comfortable yet challenging enough to stay interesting, and well... surprisingly thoughtful for such a young group.

The line "What's the use of a good strong noose/when your problem's too much hangin' around," is just one little sample of the kind of double edged lyrics that had me blasting an email to Mary Kate asking her for the rest of the album after listening to all three songs just once.

Something told me that the three songs I heard were no fluke... that the rest of the album wouldn't disappoint. Like Lennie Briscoe, my gut feeling would turn out to be accurate.

The recordings are raw, but not distractingly lo-fi. They give the album an indie sensibility and feeling of "realness," kind of like the young quartet is sitting in your family room strumming their acoustic guitars for your own personal listening pleasure. Though the album is acoustic guitar heavy, interspersed strings, horns, and organs add just the right amount of artistic accent on songs that might otherwise be a little too stripped down.

The songs themselves ping-pong back and forth between upbeat and fun indie pop offerings like "Stay Warm" and "Some Trees," soft, lyrically-driven singer/songwriter tunes like "A Root's Grave Is Above Ground," country-inspired roots rock like album opener "Longboy," and modern day indie rock like the driving march of "Skinny Fists" and the down-tempo, Reindeer Section-esque album closer, "Landing."

Christians And Lions are young. They haven't even had a proper tour yet, but you best start paying attention to these guys now. They're simply too good to ignore. - www.thetripwire.com


"The Weekly Dig"

Ordinarily, we’d have some fun with a name like Christians and Lions. Who’s the Christian? Who’s the lion? Who’s eating whom? But forget all that—guys getting eaten is none of my business, and it’s none of yours, either. Besides, the band’s debut LP, More Songs for Dreamsleepers and the Very Awake, is way too good an album to waste an overwrought, nonsensical, useless introduction on. [Totally. –Ed.] The local four-piece plays a mesmerizing, intimate brand of indie folk: lots of acoustic guitar and upright bass, wicked literary lyrics, and some singing saw, trumpet and organ tossed in for good measure. More Songs comes out charging, with the Western shoot-out anthem “Longboy” and the rollicking “Stay Warm,” but Christians and Lions quickly downshift; the rest of the album mostly ambles along, lost in thought and scenery. “Bones” is full of tough times, lost love and mournful dude-harmonies; “Gimme Diction,” is one of the prettiest fuck-off songs I’ve ever heard (“I won’t baby you, won’t wipe your mouth when the shit-talk stops”); and Chris Barrett’s epic trumpet solo on “Skinny Fists,” a halting song that’s fraught with revolution, just might be Christians and Lions’ answer to Clarence’s sax solo in “Jungleland.” - The Weekly Dig


"Alternative Press"

"All Americana Really Needed Was A Trumpet Solo....There are times where Christians & Lions' acoustic-guitar-fueled approach to alt-country could just about pass for the Old 97's with Ben Potrykus as the new Rhett Miller, spitting out phrases as cleverly turned as the one that sends the train-beat-driven "Stay Warm" out to those who "hit the bottom of the bottle and forget to put the message in it." But they rarely settle into any one approach for long, from an opening track ("Longboy") that works a gritty country-blues riff like a southern-rocking Beta Band to Potrykus' weeping saw work on the final cut ("Landing"). C&L really hit their stride, though, on a gospel-flavored waltz called "Bones" that makes the most of the Potrykus brothers' harmonies and boasts a melancholy trumpet solo Conor Oberst wished was on a Bright Eyes record." - Alternative Press


Discography

More Songs For Dreamsleepers & The Very Awake
2006 / ECA Records

01. Longboy
02. Stay Warm
03. Bones
04. Sexton Under Glass
05. Gimme Diction
06. A Root's Grave Is Above Ground
07. Skinny Fists
08. Tender Sparks (October & Over)
09. Some Trees
10. Landing

credits::

Produced by Jack Younger & Christians and Lions.
Mastered by Nick Zampiello at New Alliance East in Boston, MA.

Tracked & mixed by Jack Younger at Basement 247 Studios in Allston, MA.

Cover illustration by Michael Washburn

Released by ECA Records on November 21st 2006

Distributed by LumberjackMordam

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Chris Mara, Matt Sisto, Chris Barrett, and brothers Sam and Ben Potrykus layer electric and acoustic guitars, electric and upright bass, drums, trumpet, singing saw, and vocal harmonies that harness that elusive, eerie fraternal connection to create smart, quirky indie-folk songs with nods to everyone from theorists like Althusser and MacLuhan to artists like The Zombies and The Tennessee Three. Their debut album, More Songs for Dreamsleepers and The Very Awake explores topics of displacement and alienation with both an intrinsic self-awareness and a tenderness that is "somehow comfortable, yet unsettling...like a Cadillac someone died in" (Jack Younger, Recordist).

web links::
http://www.christiansandlions.net
http://www.ecarecords.com
http://www.myspace.com/christiansandlions

Video for "Gimme Diction" available on the
ECA website.