ALBUM REVIEW: Nuclear Soul – Lionize

Three years after Jetpack Soundtrack Maryland rockers LIONIZE are bringing the funk back with their brand-new studio album, Nuclear Soul. The quartet have been on the rock scene for over a decade but have just shied away from the spotlight ever so slightly but after a jaw-dropping performance at Ramblin’ Man and Bloodstock earlier this year, their new record will take them to new heights and bring bigger things for them.

Kicking Nuclear Soul into action is the rich, beautiful sound of Chris Brooks on a Hammond Organ before the rest of the band explode into the beginning of some proper good old rock. It’s simply with opening track Darkest Timeline that will define this album as one of the best rock albums in recent years, it puts LIONIZE on this step that really flaunts off their talent and what they are made of.

What the sound of LIONIZE is made of though is a mixture of everything beautiful that has been created in music; funk, rock ‘n’ roll, classic rock, jazz, blues, heavy metal – the full works. They make their sound fun and soulful, despite it being serious to them and singing about real topics and songs such as Face of Mars and Election Year really show that off.

Fire In Athena is one of the slower, more anthemic songs on the album and it’s absolutely incredible. It’s been written and composed with sheer excellence and talent but it’s got a certain THIN LIZZY style to it as well which really makes it stand out, it’s rather warming to hear. With such a rise in recent years of more new bands trying to achieve the old-style rock sound there’s competition brewing but if the Maryland quartet continue the way they are going they will dominate the scene by miles, no questions asked as the music they create is so genuine, it doesn’t feel forced, it sounds like it’s being played by people who love the style for people who love the style and that’s when you get the best results.

Title-track Nuclear Soul is yet another one of their more anthemic songs and even this one has a certain SOUNDGARDEN vibe to it, it certainly gives chills and creates a huge atmosphere. It’s special to see so many influences pour out into every song but the ability to still keep their own thing going on too is incredibly talented. Each track on Nuclear Soul has its own little thing going on, nothing is the same but it’s not too different either to make it an awkward listen. Each song is individual and the lyrics blend with the music, the atmosphere of each song alters to accommodate what they’re getting at achieving as well.

The album is mixed with so much going on and on paper it sounds too much but by the end it sounds absolutely fantastic and every style works together beautifully. LIONIZE have found a way to accommodate their influences and styles and bond them together to create their own special sound. Nuclear Soul is an album that is going to raise the bar in their career, it has showcased their talent and passion for what they create like their lives depended on it. There is simply no disappointment to this album, this is why they deserve to come out of the shadows and unleash what they have to offer to the entire world.

Rating: 9/10

Nuclear Soul - Lionize


Nuclear Soul is out September 8th via The End Records

Like LIONIZE on Facebook.

Jessica Howkins

Co Editor-in-Chief for Distorted Sound Magazine, Music Journalism student.