Imagine PAOLO NUTINI’s voice against a dirty yet fresh sounding rock and roll music arrangement influenced by the likes of DEEP PURPLE and BAD BRAINS with some hints of funk. This is the sound you hear from the off when you press play on the EP titled The Voyage by Maryland rock and roll quartet LIONIZE.
LIONIZE formed in 2004 in the state of Maryland, the same state as CLUTCH, where they spent most of their time jamming and learning to play music. They really listened to each other, over a decade later they have perfected and fine-tuned their sound to the tight, powerful unit they are now. Could this new EP open some doors for them?
The EP itself contains a collection of tracks that bring values together from the old school rock and roll era with some modern twists. LIONIZE’s brilliant fusion of vintage and modern gives out a tight sound that is addictive from the moment you press play. This EP contains many highlights that ensure this record is a great one; smooth yet dominant vocal work, vintage sounding organs that provide some nostalgia to those listening to rock for a long time, dirty sounding guitars and an enslaving rhythm that will make anyone want to get up and dance.
Anacostia is a brilliant opening track; it gives you taste of the vocals that seem mellow at first that in fact take a dominant turn and the dirty sounding riffs that will appear across the record. Cold Nelson gives the listener the first taste of the synthesisers with the organ sound effect. With these tracks giving you the first taste of whats to come, this what makes them great opening tracks.
As for the rest of the EP you hear these elements in different ways; Underwater provides a jazz ambiance with it’s smooth rhythm and melody. The track Sleeping Giants is a definite highlight as it makes the best of the components introduced at the beginning of the EP, there is something very specials about this song. Whatever secret ingredient or magic track they had up their sleeve to make that a belter, it works. The swinging rhythms and incredible catchiness from the penultimate track Ultimate Narc, one minute one can imagine being back in the sixties with this heavy dance number and the next head-banging along to the slower rhythm.
It ends on a beautiful note with the soft ballad Take It To The Road; everything from the stripped down guitars and the emphasis on the vocals. Imagine a song where it contains the quirkiness and smoothness of THE ANIMAL’s anthem The House Of The Rising Sun and the epic ballad like LED ZEPPELIN classic Stairway To Heaven; this is what Take It To The Road sounds like. This can only mean it will become a timeless classic in years to come.
The Voyage will indeed be a trip down memory lane for those die hard fans of rock and roll, given the type of sound and recording is. The overall verdict for LIONIZE though? This EP will undoubtedly open more doors for this rock and roll quartet.
The Voyage is out now
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