At first, I was a little skeptical of this record, with Stu being the new vocalist... But he met my expectations and more. It sounds awesome. The opening track, "Pieces," sounds like traditional LWL. It's got catchy leads, harmonies, fast paced drum lines, and lots of gang vocals. The group has very distinctive dynamics and an addictive sound. It starts off with a great impression. Talented, powerful music- no surprise there. I'm going to play Living with Lions at my wedding and my grandparents will even rock out.
"Maple Drive is Still Alive" starts off with a slow, pretty guitar riff.... That soon fades into blasting, fast paced drums. Stu pipes up with his beautiful voice, and slowly every instrument fades into the sound. It sounds so awesome. It's still pretty fast, but it's a ballad compared to the majority of their music. As expected, it picks up throughout the song. This album is pretty great at simple-but-bitchin-vocals and fairly extensive melodical lines, mixed with your quintessential pop punk riffs and group harmonies. "In Your Light" is a pretty intense song from the start... It has a cute little guitar line, but it doesn't mess around when it starts off with the line "This is a heartfelt fuck you." Intense is pretty much the best way to describe this song. It's a soft intensity, though. Kind of like Ernest Hemingway's books, or trying to get a glass of juice before the microwave beeps.
Stu has a voice similar to Ryan from OWTH, and I love it. Bill is a great bassist, and that's my weakness... Chase and Landon work together so well, and Loren is seriously such a fucking badass at drumming. They're the fantastic 5. I wonder which one has stretchable limbs.
Songs like "Matthew's Anthem" and "Wake Up" show the softer sides of this album. Overall, it's a fairly variable album and I love it. They keep a common theme of driving and strong with great melodies, but it still changes quite a bit throughout the record.
Tracks of honorable mention: "Matthew's Anthem," "When We Were Young," "Honestly, Honestly" and "Maple Drive is Still Alive."
It's 10 songs, it's available digitally, CD, and on vinyl. They do a pretty good job of changing just enough with their new members, but staying true to their sound. You can listen to it streaming on AOL music, check out their facebook, buy their shit at Adrenaline Records, and read more on our facebook.