Lionize
Superczar and the Vulture


5.0
classic

Review

by Greg Fisher STAFF
December 7th, 2011 | 63 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A trailblazing fusion of groovy hard rock, bouncing funk and atmospheric reggae.

Releasing two excellent full-length albums in one year is hardly an easy task to accomplish. Lionize, whose previous disc has dropped early this year, happen to succeed in this respect. They are definitely on a creative spree venturing deeper and deeper into the engrossing fusion of reggae/dub and groovy hard rock they basically pioneered on this year's Destruction Manual. Right now that album feels like the calm before the storm with Lionize only signaling what they are capable of doing with their trailblazing style. Superczar And The Vulture provides a more complete realization of stoner dub with the band reaching their full potential as both musicians and composers.

The album is nothing less than spectacular with its bold inclination to merge two strikingly different music worlds in an entirely seamless manner. Enticing bass lines and complex, constantly pounding drumming just set the stage for chilling Hammond organ soundscapes, hard rocking riffs and mood-fitting guitar solos. All instruments are superbly harmonized with one another, which results in a plethora of memorable segments that recall classic rock from the 1970s. Nate Bergman's clean, soulful vocals are tailor-made for this kind of music. He has a knack for using the appropriate inflection of his voice in every given moment of the song crafting plenty of admirable vocal harmonies.

Additionally, Superczar And The Vulture sounds absolutely grandiose due to top-notch production courtesy of J. Robbins who worked with such coveted artists as Clutch and Against Me! The grand scope of the album doesn't really diminish its emotional core, which may be the group's major achievement. No matter how off-kilter the lyrics are, they are always perfectly relatable. A timely account of difficult, financial crysis-ridden times, “Dr. Livingston” boasts such hard-hitting lines as “I need insurance for my optimism” and “how do I find my way inside this time?” It's not a sole poignant moment on the disc. “The Ballad Of Ronnie Buttons,” for instance, showcases Americana storytelling at its finest and most heartbreaking. In addition, some lyrics revolve around intriguing pop-culture concepts (“Walking Away”), while others aptly describe social phenomena (“Shameless Self Promoter”).

Phenomenal, often quotable lyrics go in pair with adventurous songwriting that abounds with meticulously conceived progressions as well as non-conventional arrangements. Boisterous “Superczar” uses trumpets only to enhance its unflagging energy, whereas cinematic instrumental “Self Propelled Experience Approximator” has slower, more atmospheric brass segments which are equally exceptional. “Trustafarian” makes a great use of dynamics contrasting distressing, moody verses with a heavy-on-grove chorus, while “Parlor Tricks” is one of the most addictive tunes on the disc incorporating a funky vibe and clap-along pattern into its riff-driven stoner rock. Prog-induced “Vessel” delivers plenty of tempo changes and intense multi-instrumental solos being interspersed with an anthemic chorus.

Multifaceted as it may be, Superczar And The Vulture stands as a truly accessible release that may very well appeal to listeners across many different genres. Lionize are at the top of their game here crafting music that's both intellectually stimulating and thoroughly entertaining. Time will tell if the audiences will be clever enough to jump on the hype bandwagon for this band. Lionize certainly deserve to be huge more than any other rock act out there.



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user ratings (36)
Chart.
4.2
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
greg84
Staff Reviewer
December 7th 2011


7421 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Superczar:

pentimentomusic.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Lionize-Superczar.mp3

The only album I've given a 5 this year.

Digging: Dope Body - Lifer

Jethro42
December 7th 2011


12478 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Excellent write up as usual, bro. Not really interested into this, as you know it.

cb123
December 8th 2011


2030 Comments


always good to read your stuff greg keep it up, don't know if i'll much fancy this though

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
December 8th 2011


20993 Comments


Great review, pos'd.

I need to check this out.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
December 8th 2011


7421 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks guys. The album absolutely destroys everything stoner-related this year, last year and...

PorkchopExpress
December 8th 2011


387 Comments


I actually listened to this a few times since this went up yesterday. This is typically not my type of thing, but I like it.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
December 8th 2011


7421 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Cool. I'm glad you enjoyed it. It so happens it's entirely my type of thing.

Btw, thanks a bunch for featuring this.

Jethro42
December 8th 2011


12478 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'd like to like it. Do I try too hard...? Not enough...?
Cool it got featured! Bravo!

greg84
Staff Reviewer
December 8th 2011


7421 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Have you listened to this album Daniel? Or do you base your opinion on their previous one?

Jethro42
December 8th 2011


12478 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

No I havent, my friend but it can change. The classic status you gave it is enticing I must say.
The previous one was not bad by any means. The mixt of Stoner and Reggae just didnt convince me.
Also, if only the drummer was more creative...

greg84
Staff Reviewer
December 8th 2011


7421 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This is way more consistent than Destruction Manual, but who am I kidding? I dug the hell of that disc too.

Idk man. His drum solos on this album are impressive.



Jethro42
December 8th 2011


12478 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Not that it's a bad drummer, but I think he doesnt feel the songs enough to highlite their Reggae flavour. If he had the same creativity Rx Bandits' drummer has for instance, it would bring something quite special to the table. I sure will give it a spin, bro. I'm too curious about your 5/5.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
December 8th 2011


7421 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I probably like his performance on this album more than on the previous one. I wouldn't def replace him. This album's slightly more progressive due to plenty of keys and guitar solos/more adventurous dynamics so you might like it more, I guess.

Jethro42
December 8th 2011


12478 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Man, you manage to convince me all like a salesman would do haha =P. But remember this: Music doesn't have to be progressive at all cost to please me. Just like you, I'm an open minded music lover m/

Jethro42
December 8th 2011


12478 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'll let you know my impressions, my good sir.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
December 8th 2011


7421 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Haha. Great. I'd like to have this kind of influence on the whole Sputnik userbase.

Jamming: Walking Away From Explosions Unscathed It's Impossible To Die On Groundhog Day...

shinfojoe
December 8th 2011


271 Comments


saw these guys with streetlight and rbf and they were groovy

ohfoxxxycole
December 9th 2011


4353 Comments


you're the guy that reviewed lowcountry
ill check this out

greg84
Staff Reviewer
December 9th 2011


7421 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

@shinfojoe:
Nadav Nirenberg and Jim Conti out of Streetlight play on 3 tracks on here actually. The record is also groovy as hell. I'd love to see them live.

@ohfoxxxycole:
Yeah. You're correct. I'm guilty. Lowcountry was in fact one of my favorite albums last year.



JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
December 9th 2011


20993 Comments


Congrats on the feature.

I still need to listen to this, I liked what I heard of Destruction Manual.



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