Lion Fever's founders are two individuals better known for their roles in other bands: Jennifer Pearle, former Lost Kids guitarist and current Lion Fever lead singer, and David Clifford, Pleasure Forever drummer/Lion Fever bassist, who's also played with The VSS and the Vanity Set. But listening to the Portland, Ore. trio's ferocious debut EP, one can't conceive of their having an ounce of energy left for anything but Lion Fever. Spewing forth such energetic, raw-and-ragged garage-punk rock really has to take a lot out of you, but if you come out with a record like Lustre it's, no doubt, energy well spent.
Led by Pearle's husky Corin Tucker-meets-PJ Harvey wails, Lion Fever rounded out by drummer Kevin Garrison have a deep bluesy smash-bang-smash swagger built into their psychedelic-minded punk-rock sound. Featuring gritty, slashing riffs, tumbling tempos and snapping rhythms, the band bangs out big sounds full of down-and-dirty sneers, swaggers, struts and lusts.
Recorded by Kip Beelman, known for his work with Unwound, The Gossip and Kinski, Lustre brings blues, garage, proto-punk and even hints of jazz and country into the same dark, red-lit and smoky room for an intense, somewhat abrasive, totally embracing, edgy rock 'n' roll sound.
The band covers the Gun Club (an obvious influence) classic "For the Love of
Ivy," banging out encouraging rockabilly bass riffs, simple, catchy punk beats
and emotive quiet-to-loud transitions, The ballad-like "The Zoo" features deep,
jazzy croons, sluggish, passionate guitar and beats that beg to hang on. Opener "Slave" urges
with spastic, spiraling riffs, slapping beats and rhythms that toy with you and
who can help but laugh at the rumbling closer's title, "Watch Out for Spiders"?
If you dug Pearle and Clifford's previous bands, you know this is for you. And if you didn't, check out Lustre anyway, and you'll be thrilled they had the energy to bring us Lion Fever.