Under the Radar shines a light on lesser-known cover artists. If you’re not listening to these folks, you should. Catch up on past installments here.
When bands are so loosely organized that they’re less a group than a state of mind, they usually call themselves a collective. The Doleful Lions – sometimes Jonathan Scott with a great supporting cast, sometimes Scott alone – call themselves an experience. And they’re right.
Scott sings about topics close to his heart. For most singers, this usually means cars and girls, but in Scott’s case, the topics have ranged from Freemasonry to cheap horror movies (1999’s The Rats Are Coming! The Werewolves Are Here! was named after the 1972 ratsploitation classic). He’s also sung of fearsome fringe figures (Charles Starkweather, Bobby Beausoleil) and conspiracy theories (“and don’t you know it was the government/stopped The Beach Boys from releasing Smile” – “Surfside Motel,” from his 2002 masterpiece Out Like a Lamb). Yet throughout all this, Scott’s voice is like a warm blanket, comforting even as fears swirl around it, and his way with a pop melody and his range at production – from low-fi bedroom recordings to soaring studio epics – make each song, yes, an experience.