Lions Lions
To Carve Our Names

1. Milestones
2. The Undertow
3. Stable As Stone
4. White Flag
5. The Right Steps
6. Carry On
7. Losing Balance
8. Grounded
9. Rescue
10. Letting Go
11. Our Colors
(12. Drifting)

Joshua Herzer (Vocals)
Brandon Davis (Guitar)
Jon Kay (Bass & Vocals)
Isaac Vigil (Drums)

Direction (EP 2009)
From What We Believe (2010)
The Path We Take (EP 2011)


Shep Goodman (Producer)
Aaron Accetta (Producer)

Released 18/6-2012
Reviewed 10/6-2012

hollywood waste

I had mixed feelings after my first few runs of 'To Carve Our Names' by the Boston quartet Lions Lions. On the surface this could be any other American skate punk rockers and as I played through the twelve songs of the album I could almost see them in front of me - the pierced youths with funny blonde haircuts jumping up and down on a stage with their too long guitar straps putting their instruments by their feet (which turned out to be pretty far from reality). However, there was also a feeling of something more in this band, something that wasn't those simple melodies and uncomplicated instrumental performances that defines most skate punk rock and after playing the album a dozen of times this later feeling has taken more and more upper hand on the first and I think this band actually knows what the hell they're doing.

The vocals are probably the biggest reason for you tricking yourself in to thinking that Lions Lions is another phoney record label product as joshua Herzer has one of those frivolous teen voices that most skate punkers promoted by their labels have and has since the mid 90's, a voice that more than anything else reminds me of a baby screaming after filling its diaper. That might sound extremely negative and annoying, which are words I can't really say it's not but the vocals aren't actually that bad all the time because most songs actually sound pretty good as they're not sung in this fashion. Unfortunately they still have songs sung this way and that's less entertaining, despite their nice melodies and catchy songs are just as good in these as the others… such importance these vocals might have sometimes.

'To Carve Our Names' is almost 40 minutes long and beside the eleven tracks we're also offered a twelfth bonus track if we buy the correct edition. The quality is pretty diverse seen to individual songs spread on the album because you find anything and everything from really good rock songs (such as White Flag and Grounded) and acoustic ballads (Our Colors - it even has some strings) to easily forgotten Carry On and Milestones as well as those shouty skate punk tunes I mentioned earlier (like Rescue and Losing Balance) but overall it's an album that makes you want to move your body along with the music. It might be slight nodding or moving hands and feet or even jumping up and down, but it's not every song that delivers and as I said the quality of the album varies. Take for example the led heavy Stable As Stone that's on the border of hardcore or some other form of heavier music with its tanker heavy riffs and thundering drums topped off with some kind of screamo vocals. It's definitely a track that stands out from the rest, all though not the only song with screamo vocals (which returns a couple of times on the album, like already in the following White Flag).

I think this is a good album overall and there are a couple of songs distinguishing themselves more, though the overall impression is that the album isn't making too much fuzz about itself. The tracks that's easiest to notice are the already mentioned White Flag, Grounded and Our Colors (as well as Stable As Stone, though not from being noticeable better than the rest), but I also find the video song below - called Undertow - as a song that sticks to your head. Most of the songs have a nice flow but are still easily forgotten and then there are the songs ruined by the aggravating vocals but all in all, as I've said, it's an album that has more good than bad and more positive than the opposite. I don't think it will leave any noticeable marks for the afterworld, which the label seems to think as well as they're not releasing the album physically - only digital, but should you chose to invest your money on the album I'm pretty sure you won't feel it has been wasted. It's still an album that's decent in every possible way!



Label: Hollywood Waste/Century Media
Three similar bands: Draw Card/Green Day/Matt Skiba and the Sekrets
Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Caj Källmalm

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