Indie pop trio Outside Lions are based in Milwaukee and they’ve just released their debut EP More To Say. Guitarist Joel and drummer Jordan both moved from Chicago and Phoenix, Arizona respectively to attend college in Milwaukee, where they eventually teamed up with bassist Jon Taglienti to form Outside Lions. Being a new, fresh-faced outfit, More To Say is the sole musical product to come from them as of yet. Recorded in February at Bobby Peru Recording Studio, it has now been unleashed to the world.
It begins with a quirky acapella intro track, which features resonating vocals telling of a guy’s fears for his relationship. After just a minute, it transforms into the title track, which has a great indie/alternative introduction with thumping drums. The melodic vocals surface complete with Joel’s signature, slightly-lispy style, which he maintains throughout the EP. It is a kooky hipster track with a catchy riff and an instrumental that would be great played live outside at a summer festival. Towards the end, the backing vocals take on a pop-punk feel that is glimpsed again more than once on the record.
Not About Acting is the middle track and the metallic guitars have an indiepop quality that Outside Lions seem to have honed. Their quirky vocal tone is continued and the American indie vibe is strongest on this track. The pop-punk influence is more prominent again in the catchy rhythm and it is the perfect summer anthem for young, trendy kids who want to chill out with a few beers and some easy-going pop-rock.
Amherst has a distinctive riff that opens up the track for 30 seconds and then re-appears at the back of the chorus. The wooden drum beats add a slight folksy slant before the Americana riffs enter and it takes on a relaxed approach. Chilled vocals contrast the alternative instrumental in this commercial summer hit. It has a great, feel-good sing-a-long feel that is perfect for a laid-back afternoon in the sun.
Ending on Cheering, the EP ends on a song with real character. A rhythmic riff and a steady constant note strum through the quirky vocals. There are some moments where the drum catches you smiling as it skips through the carefree sound and hipster style. There is no denying that Outside Lions are cool and it really shows in their music. Cheering doesn’t really have a big crescendo which I would have liked from a finale track but it does keep up a smiley disposition throughout, which is lovely and refreshing.
All in all, More To Say is a great introduction to what the band are all about. With Joel’s lisp-fuelled, ethereal tone, they could perhaps branch into the slightly weirder side of pop-rock and take on a few spacey sounding tracks. It’s great to hear an unusual voice on an indie record though, as so many indie singers sound exactly the same. Great work, guys!