Perth band Tired Lion aren’t ones to rest on their laurels. Having already toured the world on the back of two successful EPs, they’re still at it, and Dumb Days is a result of the collective growing up they’ve had to do on the way.
From the first few seconds of opener ‘Japan’, the riffs are out on full display. The band sound tighter than they’ve ever been, and the bassline (courtesy of Nick Vasey) is meticulously crafted. This opener is a good introduction to Tired Lion – you can’t help but be excited by it. Meanwhile, ‘Where Were You’ showcases the fury of frontwoman Sophie Hopes’ vocals. The comparatively relaxed instrumentation demonstrates both sides of Tired Lion’s sound, all within the first couple of tracks. It’s refreshing to see a band that knows how to restrain themselves because there’s often the temptation to go hell for leather the whole time.
Tracks ‘Camp’ and ‘Fresh’ both continue this more restrained feel, with ‘Fresh’ being one of the album’s standout tracks. The song is introspective, encapsulating the doubt that many bands go through as their careers take off. This doubt, however, is juxtaposed with the swagger and confidence of a band that’s in red-hot form.
‘I’ve Been Trying’ features the saddest point on the album, as Hopes’ despaired vocals at the song’s opening practically drip through your speakers. Rather than the upbeat sounds present most of the other songs, the melancholy here is almost overwhelming. It’s one of Dumb Days‘ more interesting moments, as this despair builds into the album’s best instrumental breakdown.
That’s not to say Tired Lion couldn’t afford to take things a little further. Each song on the album is interesting enough on its own, but together they start to feel too sonically similar. Considering the obvious talent in the band, you find yourself wanting just a little more from them.
While Tired Lion haven’t re-invented the wheel on Dumb Days, the record is a solid slice of modern Aussie rock. Parts of the album feel more restrained than what we’re used to from the four-piece, adding another dimension to their music. Dumb Days is a great platform for Tired Lion to continue to grow as a band.