by Daniel Kussy
On Pedro the Lions 2017 LP Phoenix, their first studio album in 18 years, the closing track “Leaving the Valley” anxiously documents a 12 year old’s uprooting and the stillness in motion that comes with trekking across the country in a van. The track wraps up with a guitar melody flickering like a lightbulb until the lights are gone.
On “Don’t Wanna Move,” the first track off the new LP Havasu, that same flickering guitar melody finds light again to start the track, echoing in the same direction, down the same highway where a young David Bazan is stuck in a van. The anxiety turns to cemented fear of starting anew and a firm resistance of his new home, his destination: Lake Havasu.
Released on January 20th to the surprise of many, Havasu is less of a follow up album as it is a direct continuation of the adolescent stories shared by Midwest Emo veteran David Bazan. Bazan’s seasoned and weary vocals add an emotional layer to life lessons and experiences that still hold their value in moulding a teenager into a grown up. Apart of a fitting burst of distortion and drum fills on “First Drum Set,” the trio keep a tame and rather melancholic energy throughout the album, almost like a comedown from the hard rock energy we heard on “Phoenix.”
Pedro the Lion’s surprise new LP helped to bring peace and clarity to my living room while an orchestra of truck horns occupied the airspace I inhabited for what seemed like an endless period of time. A soundtrack for reflection; Havasu is a must-listen for the dedicated fans and newcomers alike.
For fans of: Death Cab for Cutie, Advance Base, The Appleseed Cast, American Football