Living With Lions and The Moms are heading out on a late-November tour. Check out the dates below after the jump.
Member changes can be either a source of endless tumult or a blessing in disguise, because they call into question how a band copes with internal instability. Is a lineup change a good thing that encourages growth and brings new ideas to the table? Or is it better to adhere to the ol’ “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” adage? Obviously, there’s no right or wrong answer, and the implications of a member swap need to be considered on a case-by-case basis. But in listening to Living With Lions’ newest 7”, Some of My Friends Appear Dead to Me, it seems that bringing guitarist Chase Brenneman on to pull vocal duties for the first time has left something to be desired, especially in light of their earlier releases. The quartet from Canada sound like a completely different band on the new 3 song EP - as different as any pop-punk band can sound from any other, anyway.
On their 2008 debut, Make Your Mark, Living With Lions took the traditional formula of fast n’ melodic punk and cut their songs with rawness; original vocalist Matt Postal’s jagged voice was both fierce and boisterous, and the album brought some crunchy guitars back to a pop-punk scene oversaturated with synths and neon. The follow up, 2011’s Holy Shit (a new bassist and new singer later), found the band cleaning itself up a little by glossing on some spit n’ shine, but the album still had plenty of gumption — not only was it sonically aggressive, but it also shamelessly compared the Bible and its works to poop in the album artwork.
Some of My Friends… was recorded after losing second singer Stu Ross to Comeback Kid and bumping up Brenneman to vocals, and the biggest component missing from the Living With Lions equation this time around is the rowdy kick in the ass that made them so fun to listen to in the first place. “Scarred” opens the EP with a thin, unfocused, watery melody, and the vocals are delivered with almost no urgency — the band that once could be compared to Ari Katz of Lifetime in the singing department now bears far more similarities to Pierre Bouvier of Simple Plan. “My Winter Vacation” pulls its most interesting moments right from the chorus of Blink’s “Feelin’ This,” which, normally, would be a ripoff we can deal with because that chorus is a home run. But “Vacation” plods around the bases, dragging along a clangy bassline and an uninspired vocal performance. The final track, “Between the Lines,” coasts at a modest tempo, rhythm heavy to make up for the lack of guitar hooks. The band even gives up a golden opportunity to implement pop-punk’s favorite last-ditch effort, the Escalating Bridge of Melody Into the Explosive Final Chorus, and instead pencils in the bridge like a halfhearted answer to the extra credit question on a midterm exam.
Living With Lions will be releasing a new 7” via our friends at Pure Noise Records on July 9th called Some Of My Friends Appear Dead To Me. PropertyOfZack is stoked to be streaming a track from the 7” today called “My Winter Vacation.” Pre-order the 7” here and stream the new track below after the jump!
Living With Lions will be releasing Some of My Friends Appear Dead To Me on July 9th via Pure Noise Records. Pre-order it here, and stream a new song called “Scarred” via AbsolutePunk or below after the jump.
Living With Lions Announce New 7” Via Pure Noise Records