LIONSAULT – Are You Feeling Lucky (2015-2016)
Tiny city Miramichi in Canada has produced countless legendary bands over the years such as… ok, well, actually I never even knew the existence of Miramichi before. But from there comes LIONSAULT formed by sister and brother duo Kortni and Chase Nichols; the former on lead vocals and bass, while the latter bashing the drums.
“Are You Feeling Lucky?” is the band’s debut CD and it is, simply put, a kickin’ & rockin’ first release. A wall to wall, loud, groovy, fist pump inducing slice of good old fashion hard rock with a modern swagger to spare.
If you are a follower of this blog, you should know that for the most part we are not converted to the more modern sounds a lot of bands try to incorporate into their brand of rock and roll. It’s admittedly difficult for bands to modernize the classic hard rock sound and still sound fine at the same time. One group that seems to have mastered the art is Lionsault.
Hailing from the little Miramichi in New Brunswick, Canada with a population of less than 20,000 people (as per a 2011 census) hails these three youngsters that play a brand of rock and roll well beyond their years.
Actually, Kortni and Chase (joined by guitarist Taylor Sheasgreen) 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 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 CD grabs your attention right away with a scorching guitar riff on ‘Shoot Em Up’ before Kortni Nichols‘ young but beautiful sounding female voice kicks in and the song takes you on a magical journey. Chase Nichols‘ drumming is absolutely monstrous.
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 Halestorm before that band lost its way with their too much washed present sound. Frankly, this song feels like what Halestorm should sound like now and I am more than pleased to have Lionsault take over the torch from Lzzy Hale and company while they continue to “experiment” with and turn their music mainstream.
Lionsault knows how to milk a formula of great guitar riffs, in your face vocals, and masterful song arrangements with lots of musical breaks and build ups to choruses that really get you excited.
‘Light It Up’ is a prime example of how to give the listener a few goosebumps. Its huge chorus and screaming vocals in the verses are a highlight.
Like many hard rock records, Lionsault falls victim to the ‘sameness’ problem. This is where every single song is mixed and built up in almost the same manner. This is not necessarily a bad thing if it is what you are looking for, but some variety either in the songwriting or sonic palette would have been appreciated.
I can say, though, that even if they are a bit of a one trick pony, it is a very well executed trick.
Lionsault’s first album is an excellent debut by a band that has already earned its place on a short list of contenders for the modern-day, female fronted hard rock crown.
On their self-released (very well produced) first effort “Are You Feeling Lucky?” Lionsault seem to have found the perfect blend of new versus old mixing old school riffs, a huge rhythm section and a fresh young voice with fantastic results.
Released at the end of past year but just reissued as the first CD batch was sold out, if you were going to check out a modern hard rock band with a classic foundation, Lionsault should be your pick.
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
03 – Reckless
04 – High Stakes
05 – Light It Up
06 – Counting Down
07 – Sick As It Gets
08 – Running Wild
09 – Vixen
10 – L.M.B
Kortni Nichols – vocals, bass
Chase Nichols – drums
Taylor Sheasgreen – guitars, backing vocals
BUY IT !