Part of the current ’90s pop-punk revivalist scene, Vancouver, BC’s Living with Lions joins the ranks of bands like Fireworks, This Time Next Year, First to Leave and Broadway Calls in recalling the halcyon days of Fat Wreck bands.
Picking up where their Vancity brethren Daggermouth left off, Living with Lions plays an easily digestible brand of punk rock that is safe for older jaded adults who keep The Loved Ones or Lemuria on constant rotation, as well as young kids who look at Four Year Strong with admiration.
The album gets to a strong start with “She’s a Hack,” a standard pop-punk track, but it picks up a bit with “A Bottle of Charades.” The latter song is a really good example of Living with Lions’ ability to write a well-structured song. “Cold Coffee” and “Hotel: Part Seven” are two mid-tempo tracks that appear in the middle of the record and complement each other well. They are the show Living with Lions at their best; moving away from blast beats, the band is displays some very solid melodic sensibilities in these particular songs.
Like most pop-punk records over 25 minutes (this one clocks in at 33 minutes), “Make Your Mark,” is a bit lengthy, and because the record never lets up, it’s hard to find the dynamics of the album as a whole unless you pay attention to each individual track. Still, it’s easy to see why Billie Joe Armstrong has co-signed this band by releasing “Make Your Mark” stateside on his Adeline imprint. With a little bit more time, it will be interesting to see where Living with Lions goes.