As Tall As Lions
Triple Crown Records
Based on their expansive and enchanting melodic rock music, you would never guess that As Tall As Lions (or ATAL for short) hail from the not-particularly-rock n’ roll city of Long Island, New York; a place better known for its affluence than musical influence. At first listen, their self-titled sophomore album gives the impression that it might be a product of brooding Londoners—a la Cold Play or Radiohead—whose only reprieve from the slushy city streets and moist blankets of fog is crafting said beautiful pop music in a dank and musty basement studio. Although it can be compared to both Coldplay’s acclaimed Parachutes and Radiohead’s The Bends, As Tall As Lions is more of an homage to the late Jeff Buckley. This lavish album sways and soars with the same dizzy brilliance—falsetto and all—that Buckley instituted on his legendary album Grace. ATAL Singer Daniel Nigro’s vocal styling bears a striking resemblance to Buckley’s airy croon, while the pervading feeling of romantic desperation that echoes throughout the album further conjures up the watery ghost of the chanteur. Aside from its slightly derivative nature, As Tall As Lions is a stunning effort that induces pangs of longing and whisks the listener to a place of languid dreams and lazy Sundays. The opener “Stab City” is a jaundiced urban tale, while “Love Love Love (Love Love)” is sweeping and cinematic, translating the grandeur of great love through music and earnest lyrics. The deceptively titled track “Milk & Honey” is delicately melancholic and poetically conveys the breaking point of a painful and hopeless relationship. Come see ATAL live at Popscene on Thursday, June 28.