EP Review: With Lions “Touch The Sound”

By Tamsin Holleran

With Lions are one of those bands whose music you hear and find instantly likeable. With a track record in making, producing and just generally breathing music like duo Woody Ranere and Christian Celaya who make up With Lions, it is easy to see why.

Woody hailed from Lake Trout and bonded with Christian of Benzos, before forming With Lions in 2007. The pair state that they change their genre as they go along, although their current description of both epic-rock and orchestral-electro encompasses the tenor of their latest EP distinctly.

Opening with a jaunty and insistent beat on ‘Touch The Sound’, the first track of the EP with the same name, you are driven nicely into some carefully crafted musical greatness. Vocal harmonies that have the indie-rock tinge that draw comparisons to White Lies baritone singer Harry McVeigh, with a vague reminiscence of Razorlight‘s Jonny Borrell, sit nicely over addictive synths and stomping drum-rhythms.

The second track conveys a poignancy that carries you over to the grandiose third track, ‘Plans’, effectively. It is on this track that the orchestral-electro vibe is fully evident with a charming, melody aiding violin until sombre notes provide a welcome lull and carry you through to the haunting opening to the fourth track ‘Leaving Me’ that then swells and picks you back up again.

The fifth track rounds off the segue nicely with a blinder, ‘The Greatest Escape’, that channels a contemplative and atmospheric ambience. These are definitely a duo to be watching out for and their first live performance is on Friday, November 11 at New York’s Mercury Lounge, where they will be backed by a full band of their cohorts from the past.

While Touch the Sound’s live setup will include members of Benzos and Lake Trout in a more traditional rock band alignment, the forthcoming releases will include everything from string quartets and horn sections to an army of synthesizers. Rather than touring endlessly in support of each release, they’re concentrating on making their live performances more of a limited, special engagement and not to be missed.

You can download ‘To Be’ the second track off the EP for free here. You can also buy a full copy of their EP Touch The Sound  on iTunes and cd baby.

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