One band that really took me by surprise is Lions Lions. While their new album To Carve Our Names has a heavy pop-punk song structure, the music is mostly post-hardcore. It’s the early generation of post-hardcore rolled up into an audible history lesson for old and new fans of the genre. Starting off the album is the punk feel of “Milestones.” While the intro and verse lines are in-your-face loose aggression, the chorus reaches new heights with a unique melody that rises above traditional post-hardcore choruses. This song, along with the whole album, has the feel of local scene hardcore bands that really keep to their roots.
There have been quite a few albums coming out this year that really dip into the nostalgic value of the early to mid-2000s post-hardcore scene and the feel of that time period, and this album continues that wave. The line “The tide that pulls you down will never lift you up” is the ultimate strong point of “The Undertow.” Possibly of the whole album, in my opinion. This song has that immediate connection to its projected fan base that can make it a real hit among the crowd. Definitely a song that fans will have no problem singing along with once the lyrics are memorized.
Taking a direct vocal delivery influence from bands like On the Last Day and the musical delivery of A Skylit Drive, “The Right Steps” is an example that these guys really took the time to stick with what they know, that is also acceptable among the fans of this particular genre. The harmonics and accessibility make this another standout track on the album. “You love the comfort of knowing that there’s always a place where you can give up” is yet another example of the emotional connection Lions Lions’ music can have with the listeners.
If there is a song where they can command a stadium full of people to throw up their lighters in the beginning, it would be “Losing Balance.” It’s a slower, heavier song that doesn’t really start picking up until about a minute-and-a-half into it. For an influence, they took a page out of Atreyu’s arsenal and completely made it their own. The guitar riff/almost solo near the end that progresses into a full-blown singing section only solidifies this.
Years ago, I may have never given these guys a full, decent listen just because there were hundreds of bands that were making this style of music. However, Lions Lions takes those old influences and infuses them with memorable lyrics and the musical wisdom of musicians who have no doubt listened to that particular generation, studying what really stood the test of time in the seven years since the genre’s initial rise.