December 06, 2011 - Pentimento
Bands who combine Clutch-style boogie rock with reggae dub aren’t exactly a thriving subgenre in the alternative music world. In fact, we’re not even sure there’s been a genre pegged for the kind of multifaceted rock that Lionize crank out on Superczar And The Vulture, but we’re about to peg it with one. Boogie-dub. Bow-worthy, bass-drenched boogie-dub with off-kilter lyrics that would make Neil Fallon double-check his notes for potential copyright infringement while the members and ex-members of bands like Bad Brains and the Clash—and even classic rockers like Canned Heat and Savoy Brown—shake their heads and wish they’d thought of that.
The slow, methodical fun starts right with the opening chords of “Dr. Livingston,” a deep groove track that sounds like Clutch on a copious amount of ganga (think Jam Room with twice the amount of spiffs). By the time we meet up with “Self Propelled Experience Approximator,” it’s clear this ain’t your ordinary rock record. Lionize push boundaries, pacing their songs with precision, but knowing when to get out before everything gets too samey. There are no 10-minutes dub jams; the organ-heavy “Trustafarian” comes the closest at just over a half-dozen clicks.
The warm production sound courtesy of J. Robbins (Against Me!, Paint It Black.) highlights the band’s amazing instrumentation (some of these guitar riffs could become legendary), but also gives it some much-needed street cred. Most people who hear or see Lionize will probably scratch their heads with confusion at first, but once they let their songs seep into their psyche, it will be tricky to get their sharp hooks out. A band of classic rockin’ dub/reggae beardos should always have a place in the underground. And, yes, there’s a drum solo on “Vessel.”