Pet Lions
Gig Seeker Pro

Pet Lions

Chicago, Illinois, United States | SELF

Chicago, Illinois, United States | SELF
Band Alternative Pop


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"New music from Pet Lions: 'Lightning Bolt'"

Chicago four-piece Pet Lions are back with a "Lightning Bolt" for their first release since last year's debut full-length Houses. The new single picks up right where the album left off, featuring a lush, poppy sound that somehow manages to sound dreamy and energetic at the same time. Just take a look at the single's artwork and you'll get a sense of the kind of place "Lightning Bolt" might take you. Then listen to the song and go there.

Pet Lions are offering the single via Bandcamp as a "name your price" download--a very welcome treat while they continue to write and record material for their sophomore album. You can also hear it live when the band plays the Crush in Old Town festival on Saturday, September 1st. - Windy City Rock

"Nic Harcourt and Guitar Center select Pet Lions' "Lightning Bolt" for playlist"

Oct. 13, 2012 playlist curated by Nic Harcourt and Guitar Center features Pet Lions' single "Lightning Bolt" as the first track. - Guitar Center

"RCRD LBL DOWNLOAD - Pet Lions - Lightning Bolt"

@RCRDLBL - On 'Lightning Bolt,' @PetLions add propulsive layers and display a deft pop sensibility:

Last year, Chicago band Pet Lions released their debut album, Houses, and now they're working on a follow-up. To tide fans over, the group, which has toured with White Rabbits and Tennis, just released a new single. "Lightning Bolt” is a lush indie rocker built on propulsive layers and a deft pop sensibility that feels both wistful and energized. - RCRD LBL

"Pet Lions, 'Lightning Bolt' -- Free MP3 Download"

In Their Words: "'Lightning Bolt' is about the nostalgia and numbness associated with a failed relationship. It's the first song we've written with our current lineup, and we were essentially trying to focus our sound toward something upbeat but melancholy. We hear people describe the song as having an '80s summer vibe, which is a nice compliment, hopefully. Ultimately I think we've just found confidence in what we really want our music to be, and this is our first step in that direction. " -- Bassist Shuhei Yamamoto -

"LISTEN: Pet Lions – “Lightning Bolt” loudlooppress"

Just when I was coming down with a serious case of 80's fatigue, Pet Lions pops back up with the cure for what ails me.

The Chicago quartet has resurfaced with a new single called “Lightning Bolt.” And the track is every bit the dreamy wake-up call that this summer needed.

Starting right where they left off with their debut full-length Houses, “Lightning Bolt” wraps listeners in a fun, layered sound that shimmers with delectable pop grooves. The bass lines are deep and vibrate just like a stone skipping off the water’s skin.

But, what makes the song so undeniable are its rich, lingering melodies and swirling atmospherics. If there is a classic Pet Lions sound, “Lightning Bolt” is it. - Loud Loop Press

" Pet Lions - Lightning Bolt Premiere"

Simply judging from the picture alone; bright sun glaring through and carefree smiles on their faces, Pet Lions is a mellifluous indie rock quartet from Chicago. Last year, the band released their first full-length album titled Houses and to follow that, Pet Lions is currently working on another record for later this year. The newest single from these men is a track we are gladly premiering today called "Lightning Bolt". Compared to Houses, their latest track contains a noticeably mature sound from the band collectively and production wise also. "Lightning Bolt" begins with a wave of nostalgia from reverberations, then gliding deeper with a lilted voice and backed up by harmonious oohs. Everything is recorded into a buttery romantic mesh that compliments the perfect breakfast/lunch meal (I am currently experiencing this with a bagel egg and cheese sandwich). Visit Pet Lion's soundcloud for a free download of "Lightning Bolt". Happy midweek! -

" - Sounds From the Underground"

Pet Lions - Soft Right EP

With so many 'rabbit' and 'fox' band names, picking the king of the jungle as your band's namesake is a bold move. The shimmering, static-electricity indie pop of Chicago-based quartet, Pet Lions, gives them the right to call themselves whatever they please. From the twisting guitar hook of "Propeller Plane", a melodic tale of forbidden love, to the thundering bass-heavy beat of happy-go-lucky dance-rock "Girls Of Athens", they deliver brilliantly catchy, live-wired indie pop that dances around your head for days on end.

The lone dull spot comes on "I Will Track You Down", where they take a sinister turn in the tale of a kidnapping. It lacks the enthusiasm and spark of the rest of the five-track EP, but at the very least shows off another side of the band. They are definitely at their best when stomping through more upbeat material like "Stuck At The Bottom". Shaggy rocker "Roman History" tells of a man using collegiate lust to get over his ex, with clever lyrics like, "And now she's dancing to a song that makes you question her taste / She's got a whisper in her ear, she's got a grin on her face", deftly conveying the scene. The blend of witty songwriting and addictively caffeinated power pop makes Pet Lions a band worth watching, with their fantastic self-released EP bound to get them signed in a hurry. - Chad Grischow

"CD Review: Pet Lions - "Soft Right""

Back in December I highlighted Pet Lions as one of the best emerging Chicago bands of 2008 solely off the strength of a handful of demos on their MySpace site. At that time they were still putting the finishing touches on their debut EP, “Soft Right,” which is now available to buy as a download via The 5 song collection definitely delivers, solidifying the foursome’s status as a band you should get on your radar as quickly as possible.

On first listen, Pet Lions come across like a slightly poppier version of The Strokes, with lead vocalist Karl Østby sounding a bit like he could be the better-adjusted younger brother of Julian Casablancas. Listen more closely, though, and you’ll hear that the band owes just as much to late-70s and early-80s power pop and new wave, with a focus on strong, airy melodies throughout and plenty of clever lyrics to add to the classic pop spirit of the tunes. That’s not to say the Lions lack their own identity. There’s a distinct, buoyant guitar sound here that gives the material its own flavor. Pretty impressive for a band that’s so far only released five songs.
“Soft Right” begins with “Roman History,” the most instantly accessible of the bunch. This one has the most obvious Strokes vibe, sort of like a cross between “Hard to Explain” and “12:51,” only catchier. There’s not a weak track to follow, but other highlights include “Stuck at the Bottom” and the excellent closer “Girls of Athens,” which are simply great pop songs bursting with hooks, energy and melody.

Based on the strength of this EP, it would be thoroughly surprising if the Lions don’t find themselves with droves of fans very soon. Highly recommended.

- Frank Krolicki -

"Pet Lions EP review"

It’s not difficult to imagine in this post-modern era that rock and roll could evolve out of chance encounters on the Internet - specifically Craig’s List. But no one could have predicted the result to be as good as Pet Lions: Chicago’s newest ambassadors to outer space garage rock.

When I say garage rock, I really mean crunchy guitars playing loud tunes that make you want to dance. And when I say outer space garage rock, I mean 21st Century Pop music as it was imagined in the 60’s. True, Pet Lions are most commonly compared to the Strokes, but the similarities run thin upon first encounter with Soft Right, Pet Lions’ debut EP. For example, Pet Lions don’t rip off Tom Petty. The influence of the Kinks, the Police, and the Buzzcocks leaves Pet Lions sounding like a global band, rather than the punks next door.

Comprised of songs written by front man Karl Østby and bassist Shuhei Yamamoto, Soft Right dares to explore classic pop music, and – thanks to drummer Matt Dahl and master of texture Tom Owens- winds up at a dirty, new wave dance party. If this is the seed of a great band, sign me up. Lately, this seems to be the only thing worth investing in. Five years down the road you’ll be saying: “Brad, I told you about them a long time ago, bud.”

Take “Girls of Athens,” the closing cut on the EP. Beginning as a catchy little dance number, the song dives into glam rock harmonies before being almost completely restructured. We could have been content with Part I’s humble little ditty, but Pet Lions prove their stake by taking us to two completely different parties in one song. In Part I, Østby sings “And I can’t find anyone to dance with.” Well if the ladies of Athens, GA still aren’t dancing – or at least singing along- by the second half, he needs to get out of town.

Skating that fine line between pop music and intelligence takes a fundamental understanding that the 1, 4, 5 and forlorn stories of heartbreak are simultaneously juvenile and genius. This is no easy task, and though Pet Lions are not the first to accomplish this, they do it well. Soft Right offers a set of songs that join the timeless formula of fun dance beats, strong melody, and rock and roll guitars in an innovative, yet nostalgic way. - Hard Times

"Pet Lions @ Beat Kitchen live review"

Trudging through the rain storm on Saturday night, I wondered if I would ever get to the Beat Kitchen in time to see any band play or if I would just melt away under the rain drops. It seems that every bad weather day lately has lead to a great night of music. Saturday night was no exception. Soaked and a little chilly I watched the Champaign-Urbana band Santa for the first time. I was aware that they were playing Pet Lions record release show but purposely did not listen to them beforehand so that their performance could only be judged by itself and not by their recordings. I’m glad I didn’t. Santa wasn’t as poppy as Pet Lions would later be, but their laid-back atmosphere coupled well with Pet Lions’ subdued yet energetic set.

Santa gave me time to relax and chill out (quite literally in this case) and enjoy a well-rounded set. The lead singer Stan McConnell has a killer voice that really drives the band but their similar song set took away from his talent. What really saved it was keyboardist Tommy Trafton. If it wasn’t for the subtle nuances the keys added to each song, Santa’s set would have been a dull one.

Maybe I say all of this about Santa because I knew before I even came to the Beat Kitchen that Pet Lions’ set was to be a stellar one. I had reviewed their latest EP The Soft Right a couple weeks earlier for another website I write for and had instantly fallen in love with their vintage pop formula, simple songs coupled with driving guitars. The energy on the EP was enough to tell me that their set would have that same vibe. The thing that makes Pet Lions such a great live act is their precision. From songs like their single “Roman History” to their Beatles cover of “I Should Have Known Better,” the band never lags behind and keeps that jumpy bubblegum beat in check. Even their Beatles cover was Pet Lionized. Their style, although borrowing with that classic pop song formula and current indie trend, is very much their own.

On stage the band was more low-key than I thought they would be in my head but I still found myself moving around with the audience, something I rarely do at rock concerts. If Pet Lions can make me get down, then they can surely have the same effect on you. – Amy Dittmeier - The Deli Chicago

"Empty Bottle Write-Up"

Sharp, slick, and staccato locals PET LIONS play their STROKES-influenced, hook laden pop here Tuesday night. -

"Pet Lions - Top Show"

Chicago Tribune’s Daily Paper the RedEye and Metromix recently listed Pet Lions as a top show for November 10, 2008. The article described them as “Chicago indie rock with New York hooks.” - Chicago Tribune's Red Eye and Metromix

"Best emerging Chicago bands of 2008 (top 5)"

Pet Lions

Great pop music never goes out of fashion, especially when it's by a band with an awesome name like "Pet Lions." A very recent discovery, these guys have a promising, playful sound a la Albert Hammond, Jr.'s solo work, or the poppier side of the Strokes. They started playing around town this July, and are scheduled to release their debut EP in January. You can hear them now, though, on MySpace.

Songs to check out first: "Trinidad," "Jokers Like Me"

December 11, 2008


Popular Nature (EP) - February 26, 2013
Lightning Bolt (Single) - August 14, 2012
Houses (Full Length) - May 10, 2011
Soft Right (EP) - March 2009



Having captured the attention of music fans and critics alike with their infectious indie pop songs for years, Pet Lions continue to build on an already solid foundation of material with their impressive new release, Popular Nature, now available online and in record stores.

A collection of intelligently-crafted songs that run the gamut from classic pop influences like Fleetwood Mac, Todd Rundgren, and The Kinks; to an eclectic mix of inspirations from bands like Tears For Fears, Phoenix, and ABBA; Popular Nature showcases a wonderfully refreshing sound from Pet Lions that is both new and nostalgic at the same time.

Recorded and produced by Neil Strauch (Iron & Wine, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Andrew Bird), the record is already being praised as a “lush indie rocker built on propulsive layers and a deft pop sensibility that feels both wistful and energized.” (RCRD LBL)

The band, comprised of Karl Ostby, Shuhei Yamamoto, Joseph Murphy, and Matt Dahl, have been playing together since 2008, landing support slots with White Rabbits, Tennis, The Black Lips, Maps & Atlases, Generationals, and Here We Go Magic. Their music has been heard on radio across the world, featured on popular television shows such as Vampire Diaries (The CW), Keeping Up with the Kardashians (E!), and Greek (ABC Family), and highlighted in publications Nylon Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, and The Huffington Post.