I, The Lion

Run EP

Written by: TL on 06/02/2015 16:53:52

Latest in the line of bands with ambitions to break into the British melodic rock scene we find I, The Lion, a trio from Cheltenham whose new EP "Run" comes out in a few days, and a group that is being marketed as epic post-punk, although this seems quite mysterious as their sound is far from the Joy Division-alikes you normally think of when faced with the post-punk term. Instead, bands like Burn The Fleet, Biffy Clyro and the "Hours" and "Tales Don't Tell Themselves" -days of Funeral For A Friend come to mind, as the band does indeed go for an urgent, epic sound, fronted by a husky, distinctly British clean vocal.

The EP commences with the leading single "Hold Strong", which initially comes off fine during a verse that catches on well enough on the way to what sounds like a chorus, but what you think is the structure of the song is then broken up and substituted for a mellow bridge, a harder break and a strictly guitar-centric crescendo towards the end. The result feels like something the band has overthought a bit, as the first third of the song had things that could bear some more traditional repetition, instead of the group throwing every idea they had in there, which has made the track bit messy and unfocused as a result.

The winding progression of the opening track is pretty indicative of the other three songs on this release as well, as is a well-mixed yet distinctly second tier production, which would be less of a problem if the singing didn't sound a bit underpowered and unspectacular. These days it seems like having a clear, powerful and charismatic voice is almost a benchmark for your average band breaking through to the top layer of the English scene (see: Mallory Knox, Young Guns, We Are The Ocean, Deaf Havana etc.), and in lieu of that, some comparatively stronger hooks would be needed to help a band like I, The Lion stand out.

"Run" then, is not an EP that looks to ensure this young group a straight shot to the stars. You can hear that it's rich on melodic ideas, good intentions and technical ability, but as with many young bands, the desire to write something out of the ordinary seems to have gotten in the way of building particularly impressive and memorable songs. More so than the vocals and production, which are neither good nor bad, just average, it's the songwriting that the band should work to get under reigns. If they can pen some tunes that sound less all over the place, that will surely go a long way towards distracting curious fans from their other areas that need improvement. Still though, there's some way to go for these guys.

Download: Hold Strong
For The Fans Of: Burn The Fleet, Biffy Clyro, Funeral For The Friend
Listen: facebook.com/ithelionuk

Release date 09.02.2015

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