Thursday, 1 December 2011

Review: Living With Lions - Holy Shit

 There's a decent amount of buzz being spread about possibly at this very moment about up-and-coming Canadian quintet Living With Lions, whose second album Holy Shit is being perceived as something that is going to blow the world over with it's hard hitting ability to spread a sense of cheer to all who listen. Kerrang! has already described the album as the "soundtrack to your best day ever". Upon hearing the album, it's clear that this buzz may be onto something.

Displaying a range of energetic pop punk with a rougher hardcore edge, Living With Lions deliver an array of uplifting, anthemic and angst-fueled rock songs with great ease, with such emotions being delivered in a spectacular array of varying techniques, such as In Your Light's crushing breakdowns which present an identifiable atmosphere of fury or the rapid fire bittersweetness that emerges through the punk assault of Honesty, Honestly, all of course done with a selection of massive hooks.
 With their pop punk stylings which manage to take things on a harder and more metallic edge Living With Lions share a lot in common with the stylings of A Day to Remember and The Wonder Years but balanced out with the more blues influenced punk stylings of The Gaslight Anthem or Against Me! tied together by the rough guitar work from Chase Brenneman and Landon Matz and the aggressive melodic vocals of Stuart Ross.
 Though there are themes of angst, frustration and sadness within the album, this musical work with a pounding rhythm section that makes the music sound ultimately powered by pure ecstasy and hysterical excitement and joy. Wither this is what the effect the group desired is a different issue, but if they did it's been a fair success because musically, Holy Shit is exhilarating throughout.
 So, an issue that has been taking place throughout 2011 is the question regarding the state of pop-punk. Claims are being made that the genre is not dead, but with acts like Four Year Strong and You Me At Six changing their styles to a more streamlined rock act and sounding better as a result compared to the likes of All Time Low and New Found Glory sticking to the genre and sounding stale as a consequence, some questioning really needs to be put into how healthy the genre really is. However if more band s like Living With Lions manage to rise up and make it big, then there's a good chance that pop-punk could make a strong revival.

Living With Lions' Holy Shit is out now via Black Box.

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