The fan base for Pedro The Lion and Starflyer 59 was never exclusive to the loosely defined Christian rock community, but for many people in that community’s orbit, both Pedro and Starflyer were extremely important bands. Aside from just being exceptionally talented musicians, the two groups pushed that scene’s ideological and sonic barriers and probably helped a lot of cloistered kids to discover whole new worlds, musically and otherwise. For those folks and anyone else who ever loved these artists, news of a new band containing key players from both units — Pedro’s David Bazan and TW Walsh plus Starflyer’s Trey Many and Jason Martin — was received with trembling excitement. And now that anticipation can be satiated: Lo Tom’s debut album is here.
These eight songs find Bazan returning to the electrified guitar-rock sound that has largely been absent from his releases under his own name, and his distinctively deep, stubbly vocals ensure a connective thread with his entire discography. But each track lands with a fleet-footed crispness that marks Lo Tom’s music as more of a new direction than a return to Pedro’s influential emo aesthetic. Mostly the album sounds like what it is: a bunch of aging indie-rock pals having a blast together. Riffs and hooks abound in these tightly constructed tunes, but that sense of camaraderie is what shines through primarily. Join in the fun below, starting with advance singles “Covered Wagon” and “Overboard,” and be sure to stick around until the end because closer “Lower Down” might be the best of the bunch.
08/11 Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall
08/12 Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade
08/17 Santa Ana, CA @ Constellation Room
08/18 Los Angeles, CA @ Bootleg Theater
08/19 Seattle, WA @ Tractor Tavern
Lo Tom is out 7/14 on Barsuk. Pre-order it here.