For many years, The Lion And The Wolf has been a staple within the UK’s vibrant and varied rock scene. Friend of all Tom George has brought his beautiful music to many a stage and made a name for himself as a wholly personal and honest storyteller. 2014’s full length ‘Symptoms’ set the stage for something rather special but it’s with ‘The Cardiac Hotel’ where Tom comes into his own and delivers the album he has always been capable of. Have your tissues at the ready, though.
The most amazing thing about ‘The Cardiac Hotel’ is how enamored and engrossed in its contents you become. The whole record has the vibe of a lucid dream. You can’t help but get sucked in by the gorgeously somber organ of opener ‘Don’t Fail Me Now’ and you’re not able to pull yourself away until the triumphantly rousing trumpets of ‘Find The Time’ fade out. You can’t switch it off or walk away if it all gets a bit too heavy. You can only let the beautifully heartbreaking storytelling wrap itself around your ears and capture your imagination.
‘The Hospital Floor’ is littered with delicate chords and tear stained memories. ‘Barstools’ echoes with dismal piano keys and the choral equivalent of a broken heart, while ‘Witness’ sways with harmonious pace and gorgeously sweeping piano. Every song holds a special meaning and each one expels more demons than the last. This is as raw yet intensely beautiful account of heartache you will find this side of the Thames.
‘The Cardiac Hotel’ is Tom George warts and all. Every ounce of feeling he can muster has been squeezed into these 11 heartbreaking pieces of music that will hold even the smallest glimmer of relevance to all who listen to it. This is the Lion And The Wolf’s masterpiece and probably one of the most beautifully sad albums you will hear this year and any year after that, guaranteed.
’The Cardiac Hotel’ by The Lion And The Wolf is released on 7th October on Xtra Mile Recordings.
Words by Jack Rogers (@JackMRog)