Overall Score: 8/10 Riffs: 7/10 Vocals: 9/10 Often obscure topics you don't hear every day: 10/10 Pros: Consistently strong | Powerful vocals Cons: Nothing stands out as being poor | May not be enough to see them step out of the Clutch shadow
When you get handpicked by Clutch for their label, various tours and basically a fucktonne (scientific term) of praise it’s fair to say you’ve got something about you. Up to this point Lionize have been consistent in their studio output and their live shows alike, with the energy of their gigs generally coming across well. ‘Nuclear Soul’ sticks to this path well, though isn’t as hard rocking as some of their previous albums.
Darkest Timeline kicks proceedings off and has airs of The Who with psychedelic style keys and vocals that would have fit in a treat with that 60s style of rock. This kind of synth driven classic rock sound continues throughout the album and it feels like this is the album they should always be putting out. It isn’t massively different to the usual output in terms of topics, clones and microchips play a big part, it just feels a little more grown up. A little more mature.
The appropriately named Election Year is one of many stand out tracks on the album, combining topics around mind control and not trusting the government it feels like this track was written for the conspiracy theorist inside of everyone. March Of The Clones follows immediately and has a vocal style more akin to Clutch than anything else on the album. The riff in here is immediately memorable and combined with the keys it keeps you coming back for more. Let You Down slows it all down and allows you some respite with a ballad as strong as any from the past few years and doesn’t have you reaching for the skip button as many slower paced tracks can in the middle of an album.
There isn’t much else to say other Lionize have done it again then ladies and gentleman. Not only that though, they’ve done it by shaking things up a bit. They haven’t reinvented their own wheel by any stretch. They’re still Lionize through and through, but this is a more soulful, more meaningful and yet still just as fun, just as funky and maybe even slightly better. Is it enough to burst out of Clutch’s shadow? Its going to take work. Clutch have given them all the benefits in life they could and now it’s time for the Lionize guys to continue their path on their own.
Nuclear Soul is out now on The End Records.