Portland band Just Lions

Portland band Just Lions

Todd Walberg/Courtesy of the artist

Chandler Strutz has a knack for writing catchy pop-rock songs. They have just enough dissonance and, as he puts it, “seventh chords and fancy triads” to keep them out of the mainstream reminds-me-of-Weezer category, but in the same way David Bazan, Ted Leo, or Will Owsley write indie pop songs, Chandler Strutz follows in their footsteps. The songs harken back to a 90’s indie rock sound in a way that leaves you … well … yearning for that 90’s indie rock sound. The lyrics tend toward the gloomier side of things, but they are cleverly veiled among major chord changes, fast-moving arrangements, and well-produced auxiliary instrumentation.

Strutz has been focusing his songwriting on Just Lions, his band since 2008. Formed with his brother, Brady, on bass and childhood friend Andrew Shepherd behind the drums, Just Lions released two 3-song EPs in 2012, which introduced them to the Portland music scene. Just Lions is preparing to release their 3rd three-song EP “Great. Okay.” on June 30th, 2014.

Veterans of opbmusic’s Stagepass series (they opened for Modern Kin back at our inaugural show in May), Just Lions have been a staple on our playlists. As the band gears up for summer shows, get ready to whistle along to some fun tunes.

Just Lions’ EP Release Show is at Mississippi Studios on Monday, June 30th. Animal Eyes and Bear & Moose are in the opening slots.