I will admit, I was honored when I got asked to review this EP. I have a huge amount of respect for Lions & Tigers and I’ll get into a little more of why later in this article. But I figured that instead of writing a bunch of long paragraphs (that, lets be honest, most of you won’t read anyways) about exactly why this music deserves to be in your ears/head, I would just list out the cold hard facts of exactly why I think Lions & Tigers is going places this year and just let the album just speak for itself.
So here we go, starting with #1:
1. Alex Maranto’s Impeccable Taste in Shirts (Photos by Shelby Kettrick)
What can I say, the man knows how to find shirts that are hilarious, cool, and dare I say adorable all at the same time. The two above pictures is just a small sampling.
2. I’d Put Jacob Miranda Up Against Any Guitarist
You’ll have to either listen to the album or see them live to know what I’m talking about, that man is a legend! It is an absolute thrill to witness live. The sound alone just does not do justice to how amazing it is to watch. Don’t get me wrong, the tracks are brilliant, and that’s my point.
Tracks to look out for in regard to this point: I Know How You Feel and Katherine
3. Anthony Morales’ Many Drum-Troll Faces
I’m actually kind of sad because none of the above photos are what I was looking for but they’re close enough. Much like Alex & Jacob, Anthony is very entertaining to watch. All of these guys have a ton of personality behind their live performance.
4. Damn Those Lyric Feels Tho!
There are so many pieces of each song that just hits you right in the feels, makes your blood pump or tugs on your emotionally.
“I don’t think we can ever be friends again, I gave you everything, you threw it away” in anthemic, gang-chant form – I Don’t Think
“I can’t decide if you were the best part of my life, or the worst thing that happened to me.” – Niveles
“I’m okay, don’t care what you say. You can’t change my opinion of you anyway. Just disappear like you always do. Walk right through the walls and out of view. This bitter good-bye, this sweet refuge from the pieces of me that you took with you.” – Katherine
5. The Jams!
I honestly don’t know what song I could highlight that would showcase this point, because each song does such a great job of hitting so freaking hard that I feel like it would be unfair to choose just one. In my honest opinion, this record is one of the funnest pop/punk records to listen to either in the car or at a show. It is impossible to not have fun and it is impossible to not relate or get hit in the feels with lyrics.
If you don’t like this album then I’m sorry but you just don’t like good music!
6. They Just Don’t Quit!
I’m going to combine this point with #7 but a quick tid-bit, this band has a ton of my respect because they have just refused to let barriers stop them from making meaningful, powerful, fun, music. So, #7
7. It’s about freaking time!
I’ll copy the post I made on my personal Facebook for this point:
“Words cannot express how proud I am of these guys.
For years without a lead guitarist and bass player, (and for a short time also without a drummer) and with many people (at times unreliable people) filling in at different points of their career. Without anything recorded for a very long period of time, but still selling tickets, hustling to make shows, perfecting their crafts, recording parts of their songs with different studios/producers only for it to not work out, working to find their signature sound and through so many other ups and downs — this band has prevailed through all of it. MOST ANY OTHER BAND WOULD HAVE QUIT A LONG TIME AGO and blamed it on their circumstances. Not this band though, they just kept going, stayed the course, learned from their experience and now, triumphantly they have forged one the sickest, most unashamedly pop/punk rock records that Austin, TX has ever seen; AND if you go another second without BUYING it with your money, downloading it on to your phone and jamming it on repeat for the remainder of the year, then you are missing out on a major moment in history! I guarantee that it will be added to the list of things that will keep you awake at night so do your (future) grandchildren and yourself a favor and make the right choice!
My opinion is that $5 is too cheap for this album, meaning you’re getting a sweet deal and with the above 7 points sweetening the pot, you no longer have an excuse for not picking up the album.
Here is the link, have fun: https://lionsandtigerstx.bandcamp.com/album/everything-is-illuminated