Old is new again

Album Title: 
The Only Reason I Feel Secure
Band Name: 
Pedro the Lion
Release Year: 

David Bazan is definitely one of my favorite musicians, period. For some reason or another, this practically ancient album has been popping up on my iPod a lot lately, and has reminded me what got me interested into Pedro the Lion in the first place. This re-issue of an original EP (with acoustic demo tracks) was my first venture into the world of Bazan and the Lion. It did not disappoint, from this album on I was hooked and have picked up every new release since (and everything prior).

Focus of this album is on song writing, and finding the right sonic tone. The album kicks off with Criticism as Inspiration which plods along steadily with a simple rhythm track provided by bass and drums, while the guitar plays a variant of the vocal melody. Slow and steady, and this sets the pace for everything that comes after, except maybe Big Trucks which is part of the acoustic additions at the end of the album. When I first heard Criticism I had some issues with a friend, and the song sort of seemed to put him in his place for me, I felt like a new what Bazan was really talking about, feeling, and that is probably why he has continued to resonate with me for so long.

Track 2, I am always the one who calls, is a love-gone-wrong number, in a somber, melancholy tone, but still manages to be slightly-upbeat in style, and that is always the thing that does it for me. The lyrics, tone, style and overall "ness" of the song sum up what my favorite songs always are. Sad, smart, sarcastic... And the whole album is full of clever lyrical twists, catchy, simple guitar parts, and good song-writing, to my ears and likes. In terms of stylistic departure, Big Trucks takes a turn towards poppiness that nothing else comes close too on the album. It is really successful however, and nice to know that it is included on Pedro the Lion's next album in an electric, "rockier" incarnation (called It's Hard To Find A Friend.

This album is a nice introduction to Pedro the Lion, and is still my favorite overall. These songs mean something to me in a way that nothing else Bazan has done has. His latest solo effort actually is very close. It is a handful of well-finished songs, with accompanying acoustic demoes, which mirrors this album strangely in styles and tones. [reviewed earlier on SMD]

Though Pedro the Lion as a band is through, everything they recorded is still in print and can be found nearly everywhere. Also, we can still look forward to future Bazan solo work. Oh, and do not forget the release under the moniker Headphones, on Suicide Squeeze, for one more side of Bazan song-writing. And I cannot forget to mention how much I liked the simple, clean, modernity of the album artwork.