Next month, His Dream of Lions will release their fourth EP, entitled Pseudo Star. This four-member, Fairfax-based band came together between 2012 and 2013. Since then, they produced a few rock-alternative EPs. With Pseudo Star, the band leans further into a pop-rock and synth-heavy sensibility. The result is five cuts that seem best heard during a sunny spring day drive.
Pseudo Star opens with the first single off this EP, “Love Me Like I’m Sick.” Presenting a mixture of west coast 70s rock and modern pop-alternative vibes, it kicks the record off in high-energy. With a catchy chorus, relatable material and accessible orchestration, this is a fairly strong track. Though not groundbreaking, it is radio-ready and would likely appeal to a late-teens crowd. Next up on the EP is “Earth Girls.” This second track feels more original than the prior cut, while expanding on the oldschool influences. This feels like a modern take on the Beach Boys era of rock. A fun song, “Earth Girls” is more likely to nab audience attention.
One of the best cuts on Pseudo Star, the third piece is called “Killer Trip.” Here, His Dream of Lions seems to come into their own. This tune feels genuine and easy - it lacks the slightly forced sense listeners took from the first two tracks. As “Killer Trip” unfolds, audiences are likely to find themselves moving to the rhythm. The piece is the first on this EP that is likely to stick with listeners - with strong instrumentation and engaging threads throughout.
The softer side of His Dream of Lions appears in “Magic.” If “Killer Trip” brought the band out into the sun, “Magic” showcases their strengths by moonlight. This is a brief moment of calm before the closing track notches the energy back up again. Entitled “Swingin,” the final cut on Pseudo Star is a smooth and strong alternative piece. Here, listeners find a natural conclusion to their journey.
Overall, this is a solid effort from His Dream of Lions. While the tracks vary in terms of how unique or memorable they feel, there is some strong work in here. Audiences will be interested to see how the band matures and grows in the next few years.