After being put through the major-label wringer with their debut, Black Skies in Broad Daylight -- mergers and delayed releases plagued the process, and the CD is only available by import -- the Missouri-bred brothers (noms de rock: Lillian, Eve, and Bosh Berlin) found a kindred soul with, oddly enough, Jive/Zomba -- a label known for such teenypopper acts as Britney Spears.
Conceived partly in their parents' basement, the Steve Albini-recorded Ahead of the Lions manages to combine sludgy stoner metal, WMMS-influenced hard rockin', and Dandy Warhols-caliber swagger. (Check the fuzzed-out chords of "New Year" and Lillian's whispering, sassy vox on "God Made Hate.") It won't change the world, but Lions is a genuine record that refuses to trend-hop, stoop to tired hipster influences, or curry favor with blogs. In other words, it doesn't try to be anything but a kick-ass rock record -- which, unfortunately, is a rare commodity nowadays.