Things have been particularly rough for Tired Lion over the past three years. What was once a four-piece indie grunge band is now the not solo (but still kinda solo) project of remaining sole member, Sophie Hopes.
‘Breakfast For Pathetics’ is the long-awaited result of those tumultuous three years, with Hopes hoping to reinvent the band on her own terms, and with her hands firmly on the reins, Tired Lion have managed a comeback of impressive proportions.
This album tugs on all the 90s grunge heartstrings, inspirations from that classic era shining through every track in spades. What’s more is how truly harmonious this record is. Perhaps it’s a result of Hopes‘ complete creative control over every aspect of every song, but rarely does a track list come together to tell such a cohesive story this successfully.
‘Diet Sick’ might sound like a slang term for Coke Zero, but it is in fact the song which kicks off this record in spectacular fashion. Tired Lion blend together each abrasive sound so carefully that all of the rough edges are sanded out, resulting in a rich, fluid sound where you can’t tell where one instrument ends and another begins. ‘Waterbed’ sounds like it’s straight off the soundtrack of 10 Things I Hate About You, while the typographic ‘~Cya Later~’ takes nihilism to its logical conclusion.
There must be some special acknowledgement to ‘Drama Club’ for its warping of Shakespearian philosophy (“To be or not to be fucked up”) and a guitar line that rivals Muse‘s ‘Knights Of Cydonia’ for speed.
Yet, it’s penultimate track ‘Actuality’ that best summarises Tired Lion‘s resilience over their troubles. You know when you’ve been wronged and spent so much time being angry that you just have no energy left? Well, Hope‘s vitriolic lyrics tempered by her near-exhausted vocals make for the biggest mood.
Whether or not Tired Lion will continue as this not-quite-solo-project, disband fully, or maybe transform again into something completely different is uncertain. What is certain, however, is that ‘Breakfast For Pathetics’ slaps.