Reviews 6-15-2023 review

2014 debut "curve of the earth"

Circling back a little for an impressively timeless collection of tracks, Colorado rock project Lion Drome delivered an unexpectedly epic and raw debut album, in 2014 – the mighty and mesmeric Curve Of The Earth.

Conceptual depth and vulnerability seem to meet with a bold rock integrity and a consistently evocative voice, first ignited by the vastness and weight of The Nite Is On (Feat. Chris Heckman) – taken further still by the suddenly electronic-rock warmth and equal poetic contemplation of Winter.

Performance and writing are key, the soundscapes supporting and enhancing these qualities but still keeping them at the forefront. The voice is theatrical yet honest, the lyrics clever, thoughtful and revealing; often piercingly relatable.

These two opening tracks alone depict such qualities in strong supply, both intensely gripping anthems of fearless passion and longing, almost progressive structurally, but each offering a completely different musicality along the way.

Twelve tracks in full, Curve Of The Earth proves to be one of those gritty indie rock projects balancing warmth of design with authenticity of soul and uncertainty – making it an easy one to let play, at volume.

Great songwriting, interesting and a little in tune with the likes of Ash or Smashing Pumpkins from back in the day, with an emotional and expressive top-line that leans more notably towards rock and roll’s greatest stage acts.

The title-track Curve Of The Earth is a fine example of that balance, before the briefly Stone Sour-like soul of Shake It Off redirects things towards the intimate and alluring. Arrangement matters, and this stripped-back, artistically poignant moment is perfectly placed for impact.

Highlights include the distortion and clarity dynamic of Angel (Nobody Told You), anthemic with its short lines and strong hits of rhythm and power, and the subsequently enchanting guitar-work and poetic imagery of a sensational Then It All Went White.

We also get to hear the original work of That Bird Don’t Fly Round Here No More, from which the Reprise emerged via 2022’s album Lion Drome, highlighting the versatility of Mike’s voice from quiet to impassioned. Then there’s a brilliantly infectious Shred Mix of Winter, as well as some other extended and bonus moments.

Wolf River is an added gem, blending Santana tones with that hint of Jeff Buckley meets Ricky Martin vocal style, before The Hard (Damn) Truth more than delivers upon the raw ache implied by its title, wrapping things up with a solo guitar and voice that softly pour through for a heartbroken curtain call.

Admittedly one to be revisited, Curve Of The Earth offers a handful of brilliant instances of both writing and performance, and delves into some profoundly human topics. The vibes remain relevant, perhaps more so in reflecting the past and connecting it to now.


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