Living With Lions: Holy Shit

It’s not often that a band interests me after just one song – most of the time I have to hear a few before I can commit to a 40ish minute album. Tonight’s band was just the opposite – I heard one song on Spotify and I was down. Living With Lions released Holy Shit in May of 2011 and apparently the album cover carried some controversies that hit the press around their hometown of Vancouver, BC, and ruffled the feathers of some Canadian governmental figures. You might be able to see why – but hey, no press is bad press is it?

The first song off the album, Pieces, is straight punk rock that I can get into. Regret Song comes next and gives me notes of Alkaline Trio and Senses Fail, mixed with a little local punk scene vibe. Even the lyrics and the melodies that the lyrics follow remind me of the Misfits. This is a pretty solid band if I can compare them to all of those bands in one paragraph.

Honesty, Honestly is the first single from this album and it’s one of the best tracks on the album. The chorus is a genius decision with lyrics that are easy to remember and easy to sing along with after just a couple of listens. The lyrics are not holding anything back and they’re exactly what you’d expect from punk rock – harsh, angry, maybe a little angsty, but poetic and driven.

Maple Drive is Still Alive is a beautiful, slower rock song with charming lyrics. No, really, I always thought that we would live forever and I told you someday that I would show my true colors, waiting for someday, someday. This is hands down one of the strongest tracks on the album.

Matthew’s Anthem had my head nodding and my toe tapping the entire way through. I’m struggling to not write about (and praise) every song on this album.

Holy Shit wraps up with When We Were Young, a fast-paced song with the same sentiment as the rest of the album – a little edgy, skeptical of love, maybe even jaded and grudge-holding. I think these lyrics are some of my favorite on the album – Face of an angel, shot down in the streets, covered up feelings behind these punk rock beats. This place is so big, tied up in to a place so small it’ll never remember you. The instruments in this band should not go unnoticed – the drums are working it pretty great, and the guitars keep me excited to hear song after song. These guys definitely know what they’re doing in the world of music making.

This album is a must-hear if you’re a punk rock fan. This is not only reminiscent of classic punk bands, but has ticks from current bands and hints of the future of punk rock. Who says punk rock is dead? It isn’t! It’s alive and very well in the hands of Living Lions. Listen to this album and do what I’m going to do – listen to every other song they’ve recorded and then search for tour dates remotely near you.

 

Key Tracks:
Maple Drive is Still Alive (track 6)
Honesty, Honestly (track 4)
When We Were Young (track 10)

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