Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Lord Henry, Zoo Palace

produced in part by Stuart Sikes, Bass Propulsion Labs, Dallas TX

Zoo Palace, the sophomore album of The Lord Henry, is in advance release and the show will be on October 21st here in Dallas. Sexy, sultry bad boys, TLH swagger, NYC style, up from Austin. Think Strokes, Louis XIV, and Brendan Benson.

Clinton Piper solos into the audience, titilating the prep school pretties of the front row. On his knees, close enough to touch, Piper's the alluring, pouty rock star. The songwriter of the band of brothers, Billy Potts, Grant Piper, and the latest addition, Josh from SanFran, Clinton's the lead and the emotion. Fast and furious on his guitar, he's ripped through his own fingers, blood spattering the strings, rather than slow down and grab a new pick. "Fire on 42nd Street" is the
de riguer love song to New York, and "So So So" is remade from Voila.

Voila, the first EP, was a purposely analog and constrained album, meant to be performed live by just Piper on guitar and Potts drumming and singing backup. Zoo Palace though, is more expansive; The Lord Henry as a full, gorgeous band. Stuart Sikes (oh christ, just google him, his catalog is impressive) had a hand in about half the songs. The Lord Henry is frenzied guitars, over-the-top drumming, keys that fill your ears, and pure energy and sweat. They are the insane afterparty, but at the end of Zoo Palace, they slow down to quiet chilling. "Jilina," a beautful, raw Beatles-esque songlette, and "Loss of Love Says Hi" is Piper at his most vulnerable; the player taking stock. Potts even gets dreamy on "Loss of Love Says Hi" (love the title; beautiful and sad, like the song) with an edge of Sigur Ros-inspired drumming. Play these two on a hungover Sunday morning and they're brilliant, just skip past the first nine rockers until after the Bloody Marys have settled.

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