By Catherine Wagley
By Channing Sargent
By L.A. Weekly critics
By Amanda Lewis
By Catherine Wagley
By Carol Cheh
By Keegan Hamilton
By Bill Raden
After a couple of years gigging and a handful of singles, their eponymous full-length debut has just been released on In the Red, and it's a humdinger! Opening with a pair of their most choogleriffic VU-style workouts — crowd-pleasers "Hungry?" and "Creatures in the Cave" — Wounded Lion thunders along for an admirably concise half-hour like a glam steamroller built from a kit with a couple cylinders missing. The band's willful DIY idiosyncrasy is evident in the production — vocals are tinny or overdriven, overdubs are conspicuously spliced, most of the guitars are, indeed, in the red — but is most evident in the songwriting, which apart from two Kalenderianisms and a cover of Wild Man Fischer's "Omar Walk," is the work of Eberhard.
Live, enigmatic-sounding fragments of Eberhard's lyrics emerge sporadically from WL's wall of fur, and I'm pleased to report that they remain utterly inexplicable: "Got a friend named Carol Cloud and she's coming to your town," he intones on my favorite cha-cha-cha stomper (titled — wait for it — "Carol Cloud"). "She's filled with dust, she's filled with rain — Carol Cloud is her name!" This puzzling anthropomorphic wordplay crops up elsewhere, most notably in "Ryan Belt of Orion," whose protagonist never quite hooks up with the titular astronomic entity or his counterpart Jan Van Allen Belt.
The epitome of Eberhard's gnomic poetics' seamless marriage to the band's mutant garage-isms is probably the magnificent "Pony People," an anthemic rallying call for centaur fetishists to unite. Its middle eight is burnt to a crisp by Ohnuki's radioactive organ solo, and its WTF lyrical odyssey climaxes with the assertion "When you see the ass of a horse and the torso of a man, you'll know that I'm on the scene and I'm firing arrows into targets, into rabbits, into the sky," before dissolving into a chant of "Arrows, Eros, arrows, Eros ..." It's one of those artistic confluences you can't wrap your head around no matter how often you revisit it, which is the only qualification for heavy rotation on my playlist.
"Pierre Picot" & "Pierre Picot collaborations with ..."
Through June 12 | Jancar Gallery | 961 Chung King Road, L.A. | (213) 625-2522 | jancargallery.com