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Lions

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Lions perform 9 p.m. Friday, February 1, at Meridian, 1503 Chartres, 713-225-1717. Amplified Heat, Dollyrockers, Johnny Hootrock and The Train Woodburns are also on the bill.

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Despite their staunch faithfulness to the blueprint laid by their stoner-rock forebears, Lions are actually interested in dynamics, an all-too-rare trait in bands of their beery ilk. This doesn't mean Lions have balladeer tendencies — the guitars surge and thrust, while Matt Drenik's vocals sound like the result of a drunk, horny demon screaming into a wind tunnel. The Austin quartet simply knows how to build a hard-rocking tonal atmosphere, even in the spaces between Jake Perlman's hammerhead drumming. Lions are the Eagles of death metal, had they spent an entire adolescent summer with Black Flag's "In My Head," or Wolfmother for people who drink domestic beer. Considering their most recent conquest was landing "Heavy Metal Lady" (originally from 2006's self-released Vol. 1) on Guitar Hero 3, one hopes all those couch-bound, button-mashing lunatics will momentarily drop their controllers and leave the house long enough to throw the dual-horned Fist of Rock at something besides their televisions.

 
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