INTERVIEW: Crying Lions | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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A new, fresh-faced indie generation is afoot. One that lauds relatively recent bands like Arctic Monkeys and Kings Of Leon as ‘the classics’, and with a youth that’s sound-tracked by the bands of the noughties as often as the immortals of yesteryear. Crying Lions are borne of this era, a young band ready to unveil a storming debut EP in December.

Barely severed from their musical umbilical cords, Crying Lions formed in late 2014 when frontman Ollie Quinn hooked up with guitarist Joseph Dowey during a stressful exam season. Michael O’Neill and Chris Prudham were later added to complete a four-piece line-up, their demo together acclaimed in this magazine as recently as September.

Rocket Science is their mission statement, a glimpse of what’s to come from a band reacting to their disillusionment with the music of today. “I don’t think there’s any band out there doing indie rock justice, compared to the past,” Ollie tells me.

“The bands we grew up on, they connect with so many teenagers, so many people our age. That’s what we’re trying to get back to.”

Ollie has a point. Bands like Oasis and The Stone Roses defined generations and transcended pop culture, but today’s indie rock doesn’t do that. Still, it’s very bold for a new band to aim to be the sound of a generation. Some might say it could be a sign of arrogance, but Crying Lions seem nothing of the sort: they’re personable, modest, even a little bit timid.

“We’ve never been little shits,” Ollie insists, reminded of their humility on-stage during their recent debut Academy appearance. “None of us are cheeky, and we’re hugely appreciative of the opportunities and of people taking their time to come and see us. I’d hate to ever be in a position to offend them.”

Recorded with Chris McManus at Blank Studios, Rocket Science is an assured debut, full of energy, peppy riffs and sing-along choruses. “It’s happy music,” explains Ollie, “you can have a dance to it, jump around.” There’s no slow builds here, right from the opening seconds of Parasitica, which kicks into its rolling drums almost immediately; second track Hurricane is an angsty declamation about a girl which delivers with aplomb, and the band already claim it as their signature tune. The final track – Foma – impresses most; it’s evidence of a band who have quickly shed their learner plates, as Ollie comes of age as an edgy indie frontman. Channelling the spirit of early Libertines, especially in the final verses, Foma is their first bona fide anthem.

How far Crying Lions can go will depend on more than this exceptional debut EP, but it’s a good place to start and they’re already working on new material, aiming to pen the songs that strike a chord with their generation.

“I’ll know it when I hear it, when I write it, I’ll know it when we put it out there,” Ollie muses, when asked about how the future of indie rock might sound. “I’ll get back to you on that one. One day, I’ll send you a track, and say, ‘Katy, this is it’.”

Crying Lions launch Rocket Science at Head of Steam, Newcastle on Friday 4th December.

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