Living With Lions

Dude Manor EP

Written by: TL on 08/04/2009 11:45:05

The "Dude Manor EP" is a collection of songs re-released yesterday by Canadian punk-rockers Living With Lions, which where originally recorded in 2006 when the band were living in some sort of collective (hence the title). Judging from the sound of the EP, those were some pretty good times, even if it wasn't a period of especially great musical prowess for the boys in the band.

You see "Dude Manor EP" is almost like a snapshot of a great party from "way back when". The kind where, as a listener, you feel the vibe but you realize that you'll probably never know the full feeling of nostalgia simply because you weren't there. The record holds five songs (+ a brief and somewhat unnecessary intro track), all of which are prime examples of what has been rumbling in the punk rock underground for the better part of a decade by now. The sound is a mix of grass root level punk, emo- and post-hardcore, and appreciators will recognize the summery vibe coming from the guitar lines and the vocal exchanges, as some that have fueled some of their favourite bands (New Found Glory, Taking Back Sunday) albeit in those cases they were more refined and better produced of course.

The rawness and sloppiness of the sound then actually groups Living With Lions more closely with bands like Lifetime, who have also retained similar punk-rock characteristics in their sound. In fact, the Living With Lions singer sounds quite similar to Ari Katz, except here on this EP he's obviously somewhat more out of control, and his rather accidental delivery adds to the general casual and sloppy vibe of the music. It does however also probably prevent the songs from becoming as accessible as they could be, but then, that is what it is, and some will argue that this is only a good thing.

In any case, LWL align themselves with likeminded bands like for instance Daggermouth, in being all about the fun and partying, something which you can see for yourself just by going to their myspace, where you have the opportunity to sharpie a passed out person in their banner. The "Dude Manor EP" is a cool manifestation of this mentality, and it is a piece of music that you can easily put on and enjoy at almost any time. However, it does feel a bit like listening to stories about a party that you weren't invited to, and hence I think it will be better when the band establishes a sound that makes the listeners feel like they're totally in on the fun. In fact, they may already have done so since their "Make Your Mark" album has been released in the mean time. I just haven't heard it, so I wouldn't know, but as for "Dude Manor EP" I'll reward that with a;

Download: Latter Is Better, Colours, A Noisy Noice Annoys The Boys
For The Fans Of: Lifetime, Daggermouth, classic melody-core in general
Listen: myspace.com/livingwithlions

Release Date: 07.04.2009
Adeline Records

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