Review- “The Lions Tooth”- Jesse Northey and the Dandelions

reviewed by Michael

For a trio, Jesse Northey, Nick Vedres and Chris Banmann create quite a bit of catchy rock. They’ve recently released their full-length debut and show that they’ve got some musical chops.

Northey’s vocal style reminds me somewhat of Tyler Bancroft of Said the Whale- each has a kind of laid-back way of delivering the vocals and works here.

The collection of songs here is good and varied, featuring many great guitar riffs and chord progressions. Once again thinking of Said the Whale, the opener “Lion & A Bird” had a guitar riff reminding me of “Emerald Lake, AB.” In general the guitar riffs are very clean and pretty.

The guitar is at its best, though, in the song “Advice.” It is here where a great guitar solo comes in, showing that Jesse Northey is willing to be a little experimental and expand the band’s sound a little.

The most surprisingly good song comes from “Bible and a Gun” which has a very folk-country vibe to it, what with the banjo riff in the background and a few harmonica solos. The song is absolutely stunning not just in its musicality but also with the lyrical content of the song which seems to be from the point of view of a confused killer.

In fact, the song subjects are what make many of the songs so interesting to listen to, though the songs are sometimes a little too long. In “Where the Wild Things Are” the song is from the point of view of Max and is a great look inside a child’s head. “Every Move a Picture” is a good portrait of an over-thinker and over-analyzer, something a lot of people can relate to.

The band also speaks volumes of truth in its hidden track: “The Van Song,” apparently a crowd favourite when performed live.

The band plays some solid rock on the album and would be even better with a little more experimenting and a few shorter songs. That said, The Lion’s Tooth is a record that could probably be on repeat numerous times without sounding repetitive.

Top Tracks: “Advice”; “Bible and a Gun”; “The Van Song”

Rating: Strong Hoot (Good)

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