Just Lions – Paper Cage EP

A heavy, heavy sound. Juddering with bass and muscle, particularly from the guitar. This isn’t the sweet, wishful Just Lions of “Monsters” from earlier this year. Perhaps it’s the basements and bedrooms in which they’ve been tracking their latest EP influencing what is a more claustrophobic sound on this new 3-track EP.

Title track “Paper Cage” features an excellently-judged wine-glass intervention (the ringing timbre that is, i presume they weren’t half-cut when they were recording) – in this song about unwanted-thoughts-induced-insomnia it sounds just enough like a nightmarish, insistent alarm clock, while also adding to a compelling momentum. Props also to the excellent soloing that propels the song into its last minute, twisting and turning as only those early morning thoughts can do:

“you stole my thoughts, my soul, my sleep,

and all i want is to write you down

so that i might tuck you away, for some other time”


Following that exploration of tortured, unwanted inspiration come the jazzy, bouncy “Too Close” and the mantra-like exercise in crunchy simplicity “Be Mine”. They can’t hide their innate romanticism – for all the rocking it up these songs are all about the wooing, the early stages of new love.

“Paper Cage” was released on 2 October and you can buy it through bandcamp (name your own price),  CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon, and all those other online retailers. For those of you who like to own something, you can get hold of (a limited number of) physical copies with cases made from “old books … found at local bookstores”.  I love this idea and the band’s favourites include the “Family Double Dare Guidebook,” “Jurassic Park Stills,” and “The Mysterious Strangers Inside Us”. Get listening and buying NOW.

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One response to “Just Lions – Paper Cage EP

  1. Reblogged this on thebrothersj and commented:
    Some new music for a crisp Autumn day. This EP posted by the Backseat Mafia features a nice alt-throwback instrumentation–the guitars are muscular as BM describes them, but the understated vocals, keys, background mixed-gendered harmonies and the tight song structure makes me think of some alt-radio hits c. 1992-1996 (somewhere drawn between The Rentals and Cake with a production value closer to Spoon.

    I have to give another thanks to the Backseat Mafia for bringing another rising band to my attention. Their future album will be on my to-listen list.

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