Caleb Lionheart

Climbing Up The Mountain, Just For The View EP

Written by: PP on 01/12/2010 04:38:30

Fucking hell, this record is amazing. It has been forever since I've heard a pop punk EP as drenched in pure melodic brilliance as this one by Caleb Lionheart. I can't honestly remember the last time I've listened to a record close to a 60 times in a space of two weeks, ignored all the blazing rain/snow and freezing cold while cycling outside in the winter of Denmark, relentlessly making my way towards my destination with a big smile on my face when I listen to the four tracks found on "Climbing Up A Mountain, Just For The View". Nevermind smiling, most of the time I'm flat out singing out loud in public with my headphones on, for so instantly awesome, and incredibly rewarding are the tracks on this record. You need but one listen to be convinced, but even after constant non-stop listening to the record, you'll still be finding new aspects and details to love and cherish, the very definition of absolute longevity, and a guaranteed spot in my top3 best releases this year for sure.

Basically, imagine the following cocktail: technically challenging, lightning speed melodic punk of This Is A Standoff meets the melodic hardcore of Lifetime and the emotional edge of The Movielife, shake and stir it a bit, add in another ingredient called Set Your Goals, shake it again, and you have award-winning drink in your hands that'll win you a whole lot of friends. Lets keep in mind though that despite many of those bands being based in (melodic) hardcore, Caleb Lionheart are most definitely pop punk. They just play it insanely fast and extend it with sublime technical lead guitar passages that make all the difference in the world. Just take a listen to "Make Believe", one of the best songs I've heard in a long time in any genre, and notice how despite the relentless tempo the lead guitar still adds flavour and charm through some high-pitch melodic tapping and little variations from the main riffs that you'll first notice after you've familiarized yourself with the song. The chorus is an amazing sing along, and when you top it off with throat-ripping background screaming, the five members appear synonymous with the term passion. It's spilling over at the end of every line, during each riff and technical section that is played with nothing but love for the music itself, but in particular during the "being youuuuuung" screams which ensure that the band should melt the heart of even the most skeptical critic of pop punk. You haven't heard the genre played this original and this good in at least five years, trust me on this one.

In their biography the band simply states the following about their music: "Sometimes all five members write punk songs and play them as fast they can. Sometimes two or three members write acoustic songs and sing them at the top of their lungs. Sometimes people sing along; you should too". In just a few of sentences, they've nailed down the very essence of "Climbing Up The Mountain...": the songs are mostly fast, but they are almost progressive in nature, many outlasting four minutes in length without the need for repetitive sections, simply because there's just so much variation found within. All of the songs contain at least three tempo changes, ranging from breakneck speed to slow section or back, or just varying degrees of "fast" and medium-tempo. Stylistically, it means that the band are swinging freely between melodic hardcore and high octane pop punk for the duration of the disc, and this is one of the main reasons why this record succeeeds in so many fronts. Each of the four songs has its own life, its own identity, that follows the red thread of the Caleb Lionheart sound, but expands it enough to clearly distinguish them from one another. That said, they all have one thing in common, the vocal harmonies in both verses and choruses are out of this world good. There's just no way you won't sing/hum/move along to these melodies, they are far too good for anyone to resist. With that note, I'll leave you to discover the best EP of 2010 (uncontested, by the way), and the foundations of a band that is going to be one of my favorite bands in the world if their next releases are anywhere near as good as this one. You guys know me, I hand out grades this high extremely, extremely seldom.


Download: Make Believe, Coney Island
For the fans of: This Is A Standoff, Lifetime, Set Your Goals, POP PUNK GODHOOD
Listen: Myspace

Release date 27.07.2010
Barrett Records

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