If you are familiar with some of my album reviews, you’ll likely have noticed that I have for the most part not converted to the more modern sounds that a lot of bands try to incorporate into their brand of rock and roll. It’s admittedly difficult for bands to modernize the rock and roll sound and still sound good at the same time. One group that seems to have mastered the art is Lionsault.
Hailing from the tiny “city” of Miramichi in New Brunswick, Canada with a population of less than 20,000 people (as per a 2011 census) hails three youngsters that play a brand of rock and roll well beyond their years. Actually, guitarist Taylor Sheasgreen, lead vocalist and bassist Kortini Nicols and drummer Chase Nicols take me back to the good old days when youngsters in their early 20s or sometimes younger were cranking out what turned out to be some of the best genre defining hard rock and heavy metal records of all-time.
The jury is definitely still out on whether Lionheart‘s debut album are you feeling lucky? will ever be considered one of the all-time great debut albums but I’ll tell you this — it’s one damn fine debut record! The album grabs your attention right away with a scorching guitar riff on “Shoot Em Up” before Kortini Nicols‘ young but beautiful sounding voice kicks in and the song takes you on a magical journey. Chase Nicols‘ drumming sounds absolutely monstrous on the opening track. My initial thought as soon as I heard the opening guitar riff on “Shoot Em Up” was “Alright Lionsault, you have got my attention for your entire album because this opening riff is so damn captivating that I know you’re going to have more great stuff on your record for sure.” The next track “Living With The Devil” reminds me an awful lot of Halestorm before that band lost its way with Into The Wild Life. Frankly, Lionsault‘s song “Living With The Devil” sounds like what Halestorm should sound like and I am more than pleased to have Lionsault take over the torch from Lzzy Hale and company while Halestorm continue to “experiment” with and modernize their sound. Lionsault seem to have found the perfect blend of new versus old mixing old school riffs, varying tempos, a monster rhythm section and a fresh young voice with fantastic results.
The first five tracks are all really good but there is something about the sixth track “Counting Down” that just seems magical and causes me to notice the song every time that I hear it. I think that it’s Kortini Nicols‘ vocals which sound so good. During the song, she belts out many times “I need your attention baby” and boy, Lionsault certainly have mine on this great track. Before you start thinking that I am taunting are you feeling lucky? as record of the year for 2015, there is one track that I am not that crazy about. “Sick As It Gets” does have a cool bluesy feel to it but does feel to plod along a little bit. I would be remiss if I did not mention that it is hard to believe that 24 year old Sheasgreen is playing such mature sounding guitar licks and melodies.
If you were going to check out only one new band each year, Lionsault should be your pick for 2015. The group describes itself as “A hard-hitting, in-your-face hard rock band with a touch of classic rock influence, complimented with a modern metal twist, and intense melodic female vocals leading the way.” I could not agree more. The potential for Lionsault seems astronomical based on are you feeling lucky? which is an album that has the ability to transcend and appeal to fans of many rock genres.
01. Shoot Em Up
02. Living With The Devil
04. High Stakes
05. Light It Up
06. Counting Down
07. Sick As It Gets
08. Running Wild
Taylor Sheasgreen – guitar
Kortini Nicols – vocals, bass
Chase Nicols – drums
Mixed and mastered by Adam Dincom
Reviewed by Olivier for Sleaze Roxx, December 2015
Music video by Lionsault performing ‘Living With The Devil’. Lionsault’s debut album “Are You Feeling Lucky?” is available on iTunes and Bandcamp now. http://www.itunes.com/lionsault http://www.lionsault.bandcamp.com Check out more http://www.lionsault.com Follow us on Instagram and Twitter: @LionsaultBand Filmed and Edited by Chase Nicols and Adam Binns Directed by Lionsault and Adam Binns Music written, recorded, produced and performed by Lionsault Mixed and mastered by Adam Dincorn at Undertone.