Thursday, July 2, 2020

Duff Review: The Lions "The Loser"

Names You Can Trust
7" vinyl single/digital

(Review by Steve Shafer)

It's hard to believe that it's been five years since The Lions released their magnificent Soul Riot (here's some of what I wrote about it back then: "I am in awe of this record. Like Fishbone's Truth and Soul or Marvin Gaye's What's Going On, The Lions' absolutely phenomenal Soul Riot is full of songs of defiance, despair, anger, and pure joy (where love and lust are concerned) that reflect the Black American experience--as the nation's horrific legacy of slavery continues to play out in so many devastating ways (in particular, see "When It Rains," "At a Loss," and "Going Nowhere")). Fortunately, they're finally back with a superb new single, a cover of Derrick Harriott's perfect 1967 rocksteady hit "The Loser." The Lions' take on it at first seems pretty faithful, but when you hear the Impressions-like harmonies in the chorus and other responses, Alex Désert's silky lead vocals, and Black Shakespeare's deft deejay commentary, it all ascends to the next level.

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