Album Review – The Light Infinite by The Doleful Lions (2020) (Crowned and Conquering Child)

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Whether as a full band or as a Jonathan Scott solo project (like this release), the Doleful Lions intra album eclectism has seen them forever destined to remain in the musical hinterland between obsessive love (by ‘very indie sorts’) and total lack of recognition by those who need music to be defined by constructs such as genre. This 17th album is not likely to shift the space in which Scott/Doleful Lions operate.

Gemini Garcia starts the album with rambunctious, essential power-pop. It’s the sound that would be facing extinction if the mid-life crisis pony tail brigade were not so bloody good at guitars. It’s a strange, but enthralling choice of opener, especially considering the fact that the remainder of the release seems intent on accentuating it’s exception by visiting numerous reference points.

Possibly the most typically jangly of these can be seen in tracks like Light of the Infinite, True Blue and the superlative Shadow People (see below) which interlace Neutral Milk Hotel inflections, through indie-folk’s more appealing / subtle nuances.

However, the best of this act is always when they cavort with and ultimately stretch the boundaries of 90’s indie-pop as can be seen in tracks such as Electric Springtime, My Name is Colossus (see below) and We Believe.

These epic tracks all clock in at over 5 minutes, which only serves to assist them in sliding jangly guitar riffs through all manner of Rocketship style noodlings, cod melodies and precocious semi weirdness. This style of indie-pop started in the early 90’s, possibly as a direct reaction to the cutness of the late 80’s vibe and thankfully the infrequency of acts like the Doleful Lions, ensures the sound remains invigorating.

The Doleful Lions / Jonathan Scott are always going to do things exactly their way, which is exactly why us old ‘indie nerds’ hang on their every note.

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