Lionize - ‘Jetpack Soundtrack’ (Weathermaker Music) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Johnny H   
Tuesday, 08 April 2014 03:20

LionizeHailing from Silver Spring MD, near Washington D.C Lionize are a hard rocking trio who have long since been friends with Maryland groove masters Clutch. Having first toured with Fallon and co way back in 2006 they have also, from time to time, had their line up boosted to a quartet by Clutch guitarist Tim Suit. Here with their latest studio venture ‘Jetpack Soundtrack’ that association extends to the album being not only released on Clutch’s very own record label but also being co-produced by Clutch drummer Jean-Paul Gaster along with (Fall Out Boy producer) Machine. Lionize are also set to hit the UK later this month promoting said album, supporting…yup you guessed it Clutch.


So what do Lionize actually sound like? Well it certainly won’t take a degree in all things Clutch to work out that yup they do indeed sound like Clutch. However when I say that I should make it clear that the Clutch they actually sound most like is the sinewy muscular version that was captured on the excellent ‘Earth Rocker’ album rather than the almost Black Crowesy jammed out version of the band that sometimes raises its head. I should also mention that there a few odd surprises here for anyone who likes that kind of thing with their classic rock music, not least the fact that at times singer/guitarist Nate Bergman has a tendency to sound like, ahem, Mick Hucknall when he was at his most soulful.


Stop laughing at the back, I happen to think that Charlie Drake’s alleged son (I’m joking of course) had a pretty decent voice at his prime - even if his band played the type of insipid white soul only fit for toilet muzak - however what Bergman does here is use this lighter end of his vocal range to help accentuate the funky edge of the likes of ‘Breather’ or the reggae/rock vibe of album closer ‘Sea Of Tranquillity’ before letting his rougher full belt Fallon-like bark deliver the hooks.


The overall vibe of ‘Jetpack Soundtrack’ is certainly one steeped in the tradition of analogue recording and valve amplifiers, there is no need for fucking Auto-Tune here ladies and gentlemen. In fact on tracks like ‘Evolve’ and ‘Reality Check’ this album is all the better for the rough around the edges nuances that the band’s labelmates are so famous for having. However where Clutch might have more of a straightforward rock approach it is that aforementioned soul influence of Bergman that lifts Lionize out of being mere copyists. Plus the added organ/keyboard dimension of Chris Brooks, like on the album’s title track, actually reminds me most of latter day Deep Purple.


Talking of which, with new releases from (Glenn Hughes new power trio) California Breed and of course Rival Sons due any month now, fans of classic hard rock will certainly be spoiled this Summer. However before you get lost in all the populist PR noise that will no doubt surround those albums do yourself a favour and check out firstly Nev Brooks’ fave new band Kamchatka and then this most excellent of albums from Lionize. That’s because all the PR money in the world can’t buy true class and these three Lionize guys have that by the bucket load. You just might not hear it being screamed quite so loudly by the mainstream that’s all.


Indulge yourself with a ‘Jetpack Soundtrack’ and defy musical gravity.


To pick up your copy of 'Jetpack Soundtrack' - CLICK HERE