Check out indie rockers Read Between the Lions and Tom’s Story

Rick Olivares

Posted at Aug 22 2017 09:18 PM

The local music scene is teeming with good bands and places to gig. With all the noise, news feed, and chatter brought about by the internet and technology, it is easy to miss out on hidden gems. 

Here are two local bands with albums that are definitely worth checking out. Their albums have been out for a bit and maybe I should have written this much earlier but better late than have that void in your soul missing out on some great music.

"Pride" by Read Between the Lions 

When Eric Po left indie rockers We Are Imaginary, I wondered what he’d do next. Instead of pounding the skins for his new outfit, it turns out he’s playing guitar and singing. And yes, his new band, Read Between the Lions, is a delight to listen to and watch.

This four-piece indie rock outfit (Po, Jerros Dolino, Jordan Constantino, and Lloyd Corpuz), aside from coming out with a most excellent extended play debut in “Pride,” is also challenging Ang Bandang Shirley for the heaviest if not the healthiest band in the land. You have to check them out to understand that last point.

However more to that, Read Between the Lions have a knack for writing good melodies that have you humming, singing along, and tapping your feet. Plus, you’ll want to get down and dance too. Their live performances are kinetic that both band and audience work up a sweat! 

On the six-track EP, from the moment the opening track “Boy On Fire” comes on, you’re infected with the sheer joy of their music... hoo hooo! 

“Runway Lights” is next and you’re singing along to the chorus “shooting at the plane, shooting at the sky”. Can you say, “infectious”? 

If you’re going to ask me who do they sound like well, they’re like a cross between Third Eye Blind, Weezer, and Death Cab for Cutie – rocking out to oblique concepts and references but with deep meaning. 

This is a great CD to pop into your car stereo. It sounds great at night when it’s all quiet. It’s an album – here’s my own oblique reference – where the guy least likely to hit a home run steps up to the plate and bashes one over the wall.

And that is what Read Between the Lion’s “Pride” is all about. A wonderful debut. 

Pick up the album if you know what is good for you (look them up on Facebook for details).

Tom’s Story 

It would be easy to simplify Tom’s Story as an Explosions in the Sky-influenced band. If Explosions in the Sky is like a soundtrack to some film, Tom’s Story paints sonic landscapes that have you interpreting it with your own imagination.

Tom’s Story is like that first band that you perform where you rock out to a riff and just go crazy. Except this three-piece outfit (Tom on bass, Gabba on guitars, and Degs on drums) has a story to tell. 

Yet like any story, you have to appreciate the band’s odd time signatures such as the opening track of their self-titled debut titled “Anchors” that like any good story has its twists and turns. The next two tracks – titled “Dream” and “Catcher” segue into each other and form like two parts of a song.

The closing track, “Mugatu”, is a masterpiece. Over six minutes long, “Mugatu” sort of sums up the entire album. It starts off with a pensive mood then builds up. The instrumental is the only one with any spoken word and the band choruses “hey” several times. 

No, need. You’ve been had from "Anchors.” 

I like that fact that the music isn’t densely layered so each of the instruments shine. They use effects to a minimum with their technical expertise on full display. However, the guitar wizardry of Gabba is part of the appeal of this album. The thing about listening to instrumental rock bands is not to let your attention waver. Tom’s Story’s infusion of flat out rockers keeps you keen and totally engrossed. 

This is another album you must have if you like good music. Check them out too on Facebook to inquire how to get their album.