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Lion’s Daughter, The: Skin Show

For some listeners, this album’s title (and its overall mood) might evoke the swirling atmosphere of 1970s Times Square with its neon signs, adult movie theaters, drugs, and crime. While there’s little doubt the band is channeling some of the rawness and strangeness of those days, they are also looking past it. The Lion’s Daughter generally doesn’t look backward, and it would be surprising if they were only attempting to evoke a now-distant time and place.

Perhaps another approach would be to focus on how often The Lion’s Daughter focuses on the dark heart of things in general. This is a band that evokes all the secret places, including the weird interior of the human heart and its complicated motives/ Consider, for example, how the cover art defies the obvious suggestion of the title. This is no peep show; instead, it is just a solitary figure, its face covered in a mask and its mouth area shut tight. There is also something red on its clothing; it looks a little like a red cross, but this is not someone you want helping you in an emergency. Who is this figure? We don’t know, but it is holding a small skull in its hands and is definitely frightening. We don’t feel safe, and we don’t know what to expect.

Musically, the album is equally complicated and contradictory. It largely follows up on the band’s last release, but there’s also an obvious step forward in the ways the synthesizers drive everything. Synthesized music like this always brings to mind John Carpenter’s iconic soundtracks and I’m sure the band has him in mind, at least to some extent. Like those soundtracks, the music here can be catchy and infectious, but it is never those things alone. Of necessity, there’s also an insidious and frightening side. If this were a soundtrack, it could play alongside all matter of images, and maybe that’s the point. All I know for sure is that The Lion’s Daughter likes to mess with their audience and so the bright and contemplative synthesizers should not be taken for granted.

The best thing about this album is that it sounds more realized than the band’s earlier work. The synthesizers sound natural to the project and they provide a welcome pulse to the whole thing. The Lion’s Daughter is a fairly uncompromising and experimental band and so it’s nice to have a little musical grounding. Even if we want to follow them into the heart of darkness, it’s nice to know there’s a way out. If you’re interested in this album, check out “Neon Teeth” or “Sex Trap.” Those were the best realized songs. I’d also recommend “Dead in Dreams” which really does belong in a horror movie. If you like what you hear, check out “Werewolf Hospital” and “The Chemist.”

It’s been fascinating to see the evolution of this band over the years. Their earliest work was good but this album represents a welcome step forward for them.

Track Listing:
1. Become the Night
2. Curtains
3. Neon Teeth
4. Dead in Dreams
5. Werewolf Hospital
6. Sex Trap
7. Snake Face
8. All Hell is Mine
9. Skin Show
10. The Chemist

Added: July 1st 2021
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Bandcamp Page
Hits: 461
Language: english

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