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Diverse and original

Lenny - We Are Criminals
(The Momentum Label)
3 1/2 stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: June 22, 2007

Review by Andy Argyrakis

The band Lenny (not to be confused with Lenny Kravitz) may hail from Nashville, but it has about as much in common with country music as fellow statesmen Kings of Leon. Yet this four piece multi-cultural melting pot shares several Music City qualities, such as seasoned chops, an impressive chemistry and a non-stop work ethic. In fact, that combination of traits had the guys hitting the road long before they were old enough to vote or buy smokes, which has thus far led to sharing the bill with Militia Group act Class of 98 and alternative rock airplay for its first single "Blinded By the Sun."

The disc itself consists of a steady diet of between alternative rock, punk-tinged pop, splashes of emo and even some soul. In terms of that latter genre, front man Jordan Dickerson just so happens to be the son of original Prince and the Revolution guitarist Dez Dickerson, though aside from The Purple One, the guys also cite Thrice, Fall Out Boy and My Chemical Romance as partial influences. Opening cut "Run In a Circle" leans in a grungy, guitar driven direction, though the disc later switches gears for the anthemic rocker "Everything Changes" and the smooth acoustics of "Take It On the Chin."

Though the project shows tons of promise, purists in any of the above genres may find the disc to be a bit scattered from a sonic perspective. Though that argument has merit at times (such as the slightly schizophrenic bonus track "Via Satellite"), opened minded listeners are likely to be moved by the sensory overload and sheer eclecticism. If anything, this ambitious effort is likely to point to a continuously diverse and envelope pushing future, which should find ample footing on the college and club level or just about any other avenue the guys pursue.

Watch Lennys' "Run In a Circle" video

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