Living with Lions: Make Your Mark

What do you get when you mix pure punk attitude with viral energy, in-your-face lyrics, and raw vocals? How about when you put five punk rockers in a Vancouver pad nicknamed the Dude Manor, mix with alcohol and serve cold to the masses? In this case, the result is a no-frills LP, courtesy of Canadian punks Living with Lions.

The band’s first full-length release Make Your Mark sounds like a combination of Rise Against, circa Siren Song of the Counter Culture, and more recent releases by the Bouncing Souls. There are just enough snare-filled verses, and anti-authority lyrics to classify these guys as a punk band, but occasionally, LWL unleashes a catchy hook or two, showing off a more refined sound than was present on their debut EP, Dude Manor. Make Your Mark’s opener, “She’s a Hack,” sets the tone for the record with a strong chorus, and current single, “A Bottle of Charades” sets the bar as one of the most commercial-friendly tunes the guys have ever penned. LWL taps into influences like Hot Water Music with the track, “Cold Coffee,” which sounds like a mosh pit to the face, and slows things down a bit with a softer chorus on “Hotel: Part Seven,” but never skimps on the energy. Make Your Mark closes with “Dude Manor (R.I.P.),” a tribute to the band’s old crib and then a short “Outro,” which gives a nod to old school punk acts, swelling from one simple note into a whirlwind of screeching guitars and intricate drum fills before fading out just under the two-minute mark.

There’s no denying Make Your Mark draws on some strong influences, but the bulk of the record is incredibly original, and full of potential. As a freshman LP, Mark makes a strong statement as an honest punk record by five guys who just happen to love playing music together. For a first attempt it’ll do, and it will be interesting to see how Living with Lions evolves. So, if you’re looking for a more melodically driven record, Make Your Mark may not be for you. But, if you’re at all a fan of bands like the Bouncing Souls, Green Day, Hot Water Music, Lifetime, Rancid, or Bad Religion definitely give Living With Lions a listen. (Adeline 2009)

Living with Lions MySpace page


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