12 Songs, 42 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

On Pedro the Lion’s first long-player, chief singer/songwriter David Bazan opens up his heart with a confessional honesty that’s both unnerving and transcendent. It’s Hard to Find a Friend is a work of remarkable soul-baring, matching its dagger-sharp lyrics with minimalist melodies rendered in stark guitar/bass/drums settings. While Bazan’s vocals are tinged with a free-floating melancholy, they never sound less than fully committed to the material. Love, betrayal and spiritual yearning are the reoccurring subjects, confronted with quiet courage and a twist of wry humor. “Of Minor Prophets and Their Prostitute Wives” and “Bad Diary Days” capture the nuances of tormented relationships, while “The Longest Winter” plumbs the depths of lonesome bachelorhood with an unsparing touch. Bazan lightens up a bit on “When They Really Get to Know You They Will Run,” a look at fashion obsession set to a buoyant groove. “Secrets of the Easy Yolk” and “The Bells” find him treating Christian themes with rare sensitivity and palpable feeling.

EDITORS’ NOTES

On Pedro the Lion’s first long-player, chief singer/songwriter David Bazan opens up his heart with a confessional honesty that’s both unnerving and transcendent. It’s Hard to Find a Friend is a work of remarkable soul-baring, matching its dagger-sharp lyrics with minimalist melodies rendered in stark guitar/bass/drums settings. While Bazan’s vocals are tinged with a free-floating melancholy, they never sound less than fully committed to the material. Love, betrayal and spiritual yearning are the reoccurring subjects, confronted with quiet courage and a twist of wry humor. “Of Minor Prophets and Their Prostitute Wives” and “Bad Diary Days” capture the nuances of tormented relationships, while “The Longest Winter” plumbs the depths of lonesome bachelorhood with an unsparing touch. Bazan lightens up a bit on “When They Really Get to Know You They Will Run,” a look at fashion obsession set to a buoyant groove. “Secrets of the Easy Yolk” and “The Bells” find him treating Christian themes with rare sensitivity and palpable feeling.

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About Pedro the Lion

After a shifting lineup, Pedro the Lion finally eventually became a one-man outfit. That man is David Bazan. A Seattle native, Bazan cut his teeth playing in hardcore bands before forming Pedro in 1995, taking the band's name from a character he made up for a possible children's book. Under the moniker of Pedro the Lion, Bazan creates melodic pop in the vein of Bedhead, Hayden, and Sebadoh, with a lyrical focus on relationships -- with both other people and God. Bazan also plays in the band Unwed Sailor with Johnathon Ford of Roadside Monument. Pedro the Lion's debut full-length album, It's Hard to Find a Friend, was released in 1998. An EP titled The Only Reason I Feel Secure shortly followed, and in early 2000 Pedro the Lion returned with Winners Never Quit on Jade Tree. In 2001, Jade Tree reissued the band's first two records, and Casey Foubert joined the band to handle bass, percussion, and keyboard duties for the next record, 2002's Control. In 2004, the band issued their most expansive album, Achilles Heel. Two years later, in early 2006, Bazan retired the Pedro moniker to continue on with solo work under his own name; the first "official" David Bazan release, the Fewer Moving Parts EP, appeared that July. Long-time collaborator and multi-instrumentalist T.W. Walsh moved on with his own project, the Soft Drugs, and returned to a career in software engineering. ~ Jason Nickey

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