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Album Review: Absenteeism by Quiet Lions

Brighton/London-based alt rock quartet Quiet Lions are set to release their forthcoming debut album, Absenteeism, on 14th June 2019 via Lonely Voyage Records. Recorded at Brighton Electric and Small Pond Studios with Mark Roberts (Delta Sleep, Toska), this is an album that deals with dissociation, with focus on the role of social media and a loss of self.

A concept album of sorts, the album’s narrative focuses on how social media affects three different characters: a careerist politician, a social media influencer, and people that are emotionally vulnerable. While the album conveys an important message, ‘Echo Chamber’ and ‘Epitaph’ touch on the influence digital media had on the Vote Leave and Trump presidential campaigns and ‘Field of Influence’ and ‘Powerless at Sea’ centre around the role of social media, the influencer trend, and our need to let go of its power over our lives, musically it’s an outstanding album.

Sometimes when the lyrically theme of an album is noteworthy people sometimes forget about the actual music. Certainly, the press release for this was centred solely around the album’s concept and that’s a real shame. Imagine a hybrid of Black Peaks, Arcane Roots and early Muse and you’ve got Quiet Lions. That’s quite the pedestal we’ve put them on, it’d fully warranted though.

Note, we’re not going to mention the lyrical themes of the album from this point on. While it’s powerful and thought provoking, we feel there’s probably other reviews for that. We want to talk to you about the music.

Openers ‘Echo Chamber’ and ‘Broken Bed of Stone’ take on leftfield alt rock with aplomb. Creating an intricate, abrasive yet immediate sound there’s a visceral uniqueness to Quiet Lions that lets you know early doors that this is going to be something special.

‘Wasteland’ confirms that four tracks in you know that you might just be listening to a game changer. There’s an anthemic nature to the track that coupled with the delicate guitar parts sucker you in. ‘Lighthouse’ as tones of a Diorama-era Silverchair albeit with more intricacies, before ‘Youth In Question’ and ‘Arc of The Horizon’ storm in to solidify the thought that you’ve just found your new favourite band. The former in nigh on the perfect alt rock track whilst the latter stretches and pulls the intricacies of Arcane Roots finest work and creates something even more compelling.

‘Chancer’ blossoms in smoothness and ‘Epitaph’ is the anthem of anyone with a social conscious and a discernible taste in intricate alt rock. ‘Field of Influence’ and ‘Powerless at Sea’ round off the album in expansive tones, hinting that while this is a wonderful album there’s a lot more to come from Quiet Lions.

AD Rating 9/10

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