The Living Things – Ahead of the Lions (?)

The French Rock magazine Rock & Folk elected this album as the album of the month two months ago and had a 6 page article on the band in the same issue. At that time the album was only available as an import in France…

Ahead of the Lions

That’s quite some hype for French standards, as R&F is not exactly NME, when it comes to new bands…

So what is it all about? The Living Things play guitar-heavy rock music with, for some songs, a heavy dose of psychedelia. The album is recorded (not produced) by Steve Albini. The Big Thing are the the very political lyrics… (“No solution, just bombs below…”).

In my opinion, great rock music can have political lyrics, but political lyrics don’t necessarily make rock music great. The Clash or The Dead Kennedies (as usual, pretty random examples) had great songs and then decided to have political lyrics. In the case of the Living Things, I’m not sure they would get such enthusiastic reviews, if it wasn’t for the lyrics… The music is not bad, even if I can’t help being reminded of the Dandy Warhols in some cases and I won’t judge the lyrics (to be honest I haven’t really studies them in detail).

One thing makes we wonder though: How come a band with such a strong message would want their album to be published by a major label (Sony BMG), with one of the consequences being that they have the FBI Anti-Piracy warning on the back cover, which really isn’t very subversive…