TOKYO MOTOR FIST – Lions [Japan Edition +1] (2020) *EXCLUSIVE*
We have here in exclusive the Japanese edition of TOKYO MOTOR FIST‘s new album “Lions” including a bonus track. The fresh record from this super-group will be released worldwide next Friday, and will rock your Summer with a stupendous collection of hooks and melodies.
Tokyo Motor Fist’s self-titled debut scratched an itch for music fans who have been starving for new albums from Trixter or Danger Danger (and who also happen to love Def Leppard) and now the band delivers another fix with their sophomore album, “Lions”.
Once again, the band drop exactly what fans want and would expect with their catchy and uplifting melodic hard rock, the way is should be.
Danger Danger vocalist Ted Poley and Trixter guitarist Steve Brown have a long association dating back to the late ‘80s when their respective bands played the same New York clubs. A union of sorts was always on the cards which finally happened in 2016 and, adopting the name Tokyo Motor Fist, they released their self-titled debut early 2017.
Fast forward to 2020 and we arrive at their sophomore effort, ‘Lions’, an album that continues the good work of its predecessor and should win the band a whole new fan base.
The brand of melodic hard that Tokyo Motor Fist play is uplifting and positive with life-affirming lyrics, what the doctor ordered for this troubled times.
The band deliver a bright and opulent sound that’s perfectly exemplified by opening cut ‘Youngblood’. With a shiny guitar that explodes in a golden spectrum it’s a bouncy track that’s made in AOR heaven. Ted Poley’s voice has aged nicely and, dripping with soul, gives proceedings a warm, walnut hue.
The following ‘Monster In Me’ is only a few steps removed from pop metal, but that in no way negates it’s majesty and, if it had been released as a single 30 years ago we can only imagine the damage it would have inflicted on the charts.
After a relatively subdued opening ‘Around Midnight’ throws off the shackles for an all out rocker. Bursting at the seams with an unrestrained effervescence the huge atmospheric chorus is punctuated by a riff that delivers a succession of punches that are counterpointed by insanely catchy hooks.
Anyone who grew up near the ‘80s will recognise the sound contained on ‘Mean It’, a song that seems tailor made for FM radio. Ethereal guitars soar around an infectious, sing-along chorus as the production affords Tokyo Motor Fist a huge, but unobtrusive, sound that’s not dissimilar to Journey or Survivor.
‘Lions’ is the obligatory power ballad and it’s a lighter-held-aloft, banner waving beauty. Peppered with far Eastern flourishes it’s an evocative and emotional slow builder that builds towards a huge crescendo. At 6 and a half minutes it allows the band to spread their wings and is totally worthy of being the title track.
Foot back on hard rock with ‘Decadence On 10th Street’ for a song that saunters sleazily down the Sunset Strip and when the solo explodes it positions Steve Brown as one of the best guitarists of his generation. Imagine Extreme jamming with Warrant and you’d have something approaching the punchy ‘Dream Your Heart Out’, a song that’s definitely prize-fighter lithe.
I’m picking up Cheap Trick vibes which predominate ‘Blow Your Mind’ before the rhythm section are brought to the fore on ‘Sedona’…and what a rhythm section. Featuring Greg Smith (Ted Nugent, Rainbow) and Chuck Burgi (Blue Öyster Cult, Joe Lynn Turner) they combine to ensure ‘Sedona’ swings with a real groove.
In an album that flows perfectly the emotive ‘Look Into Me’ follows before we arrive at closer ‘Winner Takes All’. Very cinematic, it’s a suitably grandiose way to close the album and I’m sure if they ever made another Rocky film ‘Winner Takes All’ would be on the soundtrack.
Japanese bonus track is an Acoustic Mix of the title track, but not just an ‘acoustic version’. ‘Lions (Acoustic Mix)’ is flourished by strings and re-worked set of harmony vocals, and really turns it into a very different tune. It’s even better than the album version.
It’s been a few years since both Danger Danger and Trixter have released albums but ‘Lions’ is the perfect stopgap and should leave even the most hungry fans sated.
Only at 0dayrox
King Records Japan ～ 【KICP-4024】
トーキョー・モーター・フィスト ／ ライオンズ
01 – Youngblood
02 – Monster in Me
03 – Around Midnight
04 – Mean It
05 – Lions
06 – Decadence on 10th Street
07 – Dream Your Heart Out
08 – Blow Your Mind
09 – Sedona
10 – Look into Me
11 – Winner Takes All
JAPAN BONUS TRACK:
12 – Lions (Acoustic / Different Mix)
Ted Poley – Vocals (DANGER DANGER)
Steve Brown – Guitar, Vocals (TRIXTER)
Greg Smith – Bass (TED NUGENT, RAINBOW, ALICE COOPER)
Chuck Burgi – Drums (RAINBOW, JOE LYNN TURNER)