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Steve Hammer

Those Young Lions

Those Young Lions

Locals Only

Friday, Feb. 10

$7 cover charge

Those Young Lions, the Indianapolis neo-punk supergroup, will celebrate the release of their first EP this Friday at Locals Only. Their self-titled disc was produced by Paul Mahern at his Echo Park Studio in Bloomington.

Combining a heavy sound with over-the-top vocals from Tony Beemer, Those Young Lions are a refreshing addition to the local music scene. But they're hardly strangers to followers of Indy music.

Beemer, guitarist and vocalist, was the drummer for America Owns The Moon, one of the most popular and influential Hoosier groups of this decade. Bassist Kris Messer is a member of The Slurs, among other bands, and drummer Devon Ashley is the city's dean of the drums, having played with The Pieces. Guitarist Sean McGary fills out the band's lineup.

On their disc, released on Mahern's Affirmation Records, they manage to do what few bands can: get something innovative and creative from standard punk influences. With a virtuoso such as Ashley on board, the low end is guaranteed to be wonderfully off-center. Combined with Beemer's vocals, the group comes off like a modern version of the Clash, if the Clash had had formal musical training.

In an interview, Beemer said Mahern recorded the album almost completely live to tape, with only the vocals and a few minor overdubs added later. Mahern came to a band rehearsal, liked what he heard and agreed to record the band.

With seven songs played in furious fashion, the disc is closer to an album than an EP. The opening track, "Opinion Rights Fiction," sounds like it could be an outtake from some obscure 1980s punk band. The other six tracks boom from the sound system like undiscovered classics as well.

With most of the songs on the disc being a few years old, Beemer said the group is looking forward to recording newer material that explores other sides of the band.

While the band plans to play as many regional shows as possible, Beemer said his experience with AOTM taught him to limit the amount of local shows. "We found that it is possible to over-saturate the market," he said.

But Beemer learned a lot from his experience with AOTM, he said, especially in the area of professionalism and maturity.

And since each of the members of the band have various solo and side projects, scheduling live shows is made that much harder, Beemer said.

The album is available at Indy CD and Vinyl, Luna Music and Vibes Records. Vibes owner John Zeps is working with the band to press a 10-inch vinyl version of the EP, which should be available soon.

The show will also feature The Coke Dares and two other acts. The $7 cover charge includes a copy of the CD.