Midnight Movies Lion the Girl

[New Line; 2007]

Styles: baroque psychedelia, cinematic pop
Others: Velvet Underground, Clinic, Broadcast

With Lion the Girl, it’s about what seeps in: percussion awash in smog, guitar thrashing like the rapid and frenzied flashes of photographs snapped during a paparazzi beat-down, the sniffle of cocaine frost on celebrity nostrils. Midnight Movies, showcasing Los Angeles’ gloomier and darkly despicable side, very much away from the glitz, claim this outing is about “pure love.” Sounds rather loveless, what with its sonic density, synth machine from the backrooms of theaters, and the California sunshine heavy, stifling.

Gena Oliver, lead singer, is some sort of stroke-of-twelve vixen — Ann Savage in a roadside dive, recording music on a rickety staircase, and performing under lampposts. This is cinematic music, fitting a noir mode. Guitarist Larry Schemel, drummer Sandra Vu, and bassist Ryan Wood join Oliver in forming something uneasy. The music seethes, like decay in the teeth, causing a listener to wonder what is happening in LA, and causing some, like myself, to continue to stay away for fear of being feasted upon.

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