6 September 2014
Lionize - Jetpack Soundtrack
If I am totally honest, I don't know much about this band. The main reason for this review is that I saw them supporting Clutch in Newcastle upon Tyne a few months ago and for a support band they held my interest very well. But the crowd reaction is just same as always - who the fuck are these guys and where is the beer/t-shirt stand!?!?!?! So, I made a promise to myself that I would check out their album as soon as possible. Before I start I would like to say that I have heard that these guys of reggae, but I cannot see it at all. Classic Rock - yes; Alternative Rock - Yes; Reggae - No. But that is not important as it is time to look into the album.
Starting the album is "Intro" - it does what it says on the tin. The first proper track is "Breather" which rolls out like an old school 70's jam. It sounds so retro and it smacks the back of its own head on the way back around. The keyboard work is fantastic and it has a great sing-along feel about it, the lyrics are slightly out there but I expected nothing less from people signed to Weathermaker records. "Evolve" is slap bang in the middle of Deep Purple 70's golden period rock. The retro feel is in full effect again, with reference to toys and television programs from the 90's. It is much more relaxed, not as eager as "Breather" and it works in favour of the album. It also showcases the best parts of the bands with their obvious talent. "Electric Reckoning" is another piece that is much more relaxed and chilled out. It is heavily on the keyboard work for this song, the groove that the band unleashes on the listener is almost so solid that you can slice it and make something smoke able out of it.
The title track "Jetpack Soundtrack" brings the funk back a little. With lyrics about Han Solo and Magneto, it is a regular geek fest and has a funky little bass rhythm going on through the whole song. It is just a cheeky little number, it does have a hint of label mates Clutch about the sound; but that is not a bad thing. Also it has a lot more fun about it, it is not as serious as Clutch and it shows that the band sound as if they know where the good times are to be had. Next is "Replaced By Machines" and there is no let up in the 70's feel. At this point I will admit that the songs are started to blend a bit, but this is a fun number none the less. "Reality Check" a bit rockier in feel. It was also the first song I heard by the band from a free CD off a magazine I bought before the band played with their label mates. It has all the elements of the band on show and it is also one of the top tracks of the album; it is here to showcase what they are all about and it makes for a great song. Then they have "Lazarus Style" which sounds just like "Reality Check" to these ears, it is well done but it is more of the same again.
"Amazing Science Facts" is the ninth song on offer here, this slows things down slightly and it distinguishes itself from its brethren with a much more subtle style. You cannot fault the band on this one, they are bringing that classic sound back to life and it feels a bit different on this song; it feels much more condensed and with a harder punch on this track that with the rest of the record. "Skynet" is next and brings the energy back to the album, but not sounding too much like other tracks on the album that it actually stands out from the best part of the record. The keys are on fire here, the bass is holding the song together whilst the guitar is just doing what it does in the background. It could have been the ending track of the album if I am honest as it has that ending of a show feeling. But this is not where the band ends it, they end it with "Sea Of Tranquillity" which has a reggae hint towards the sound (so it seems that I was wrong - it does happen). I will not beat around the bush here, the band made the wrong choice on end tracks; "Sea Of Tranquilly" is a decent number, but it is not quite right and ends this debut on a disappointing note.
This album is a decent debut release; there are some fine songs on it. But what it does not have is the right idea of what to leave off the record and how it should flow. It peaks when it should rest; it has a few songs which are so similar in sound that they merge into one number in the listeners mind. They will more than likely improve as the years go by and this is as I have stated above a decent opening shot to the UK market at least (not 100% sure if this is the debut overall). But for now, their live show is much more impressive that their studio output.
6 out of ten - Now I see where you were going, but not quite there
Top track - Amazing Science Facts
You can purchase the album from Amazon here
You can visit the Lionize website here
You can listen to the album on Spotify here
Here is a link to the album on Deezer as well if you use that service
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