Lionize - Nuclear Soul

Lionize Nuclear Soul cover
Lionize
Nuclear Soul
The End Records
2017
6
Average: 5.5 (57 votes)
6 albums in their career, this Maryland quartet ain’t too bad but their biggest accomplishments seem to be having played some poorly attended stoner fest in Greece as well as having a member of Clutch handle production duties for them, ie “not much”.
 
In the decade plus since their inception, they only seem to now be somewhere, still opening for bands like Clutch – and I guess you can see where that came from. Musically the playful organ-like keys (I doubt that’s a real Hammond – but I could be wrong) will make you think of Deep Purple, when that’s not always the case… some songs are more playful and funky, while others are quite soulful, but in an almost “Motown”/black blues sort of way. It is certainly an interesting “combination”, but hardly original retreading music from the 70s…
 
The biggest issue I have with them is the predictability in the songwriting department, which is too formulaic and you can almost expect very similar vocal pyrotechnics in certain places and riffs that are almost indistinguishable from one another. Also the lack of proper solos, the closest thing you get is some sort leads here & there that hardly qualify, is another thing I take issue with; in most cases it keeps the songs “short” and catchy, but in some the hooks are just not good enough to keep you glued… a prime example is the quirky opener “Darkest Timeline” or “Face of Mars”. “Power Grid” fares a little better, because of it’ simpler more direct riff and “Election Year”, because of its Free’er attitude. I cringe at the “Kendrick Lamar” influences they claim their “sellers note” has… and daresay that the best moments of this album is the more lyrical title track, the epic almost Jethro Tull influenced, groovy “Fire in Athena” and the more soulful “Ain’t it a Shame” that’s got something more “mad-dog’ish” about it.
 
Neither terrible nor earthshaking, this is decent vintage rock that lacks the extra bit of flair to really shine, but still holds a glimmer of promise.

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