Living with Lions - Dude Manor [10 inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Living with Lions

Dude Manor [10 inch] (2009)


Originally released by Black Box Recordings in the band's native Canada, Living with Lions' Dude Manor EP is getting the (vinyl) re-release treatment courtesy of their new American home, Adeline Records. And for those of us residing outside America's Hat, it's an impressive introduction to a band that will undoubtedly be making a lot more noise in the scene as time goes on.

Dude Manor was recorded back in 2006 by Stu McKillop of Daggermouth, a band that's an apt sonic comparison to Living with Lions' brand of bombastic, catchy pop-punk with hints of technical prowess lightly sprinkled throughout. The difference is while Daggermouth can get simultaneously too kitschy and noodly at times with their sound, Living with Lions never seem to lose focus as much, even though most of these songs could likely be just as effective if they were a tad more succinct. Granted, Dude Manor is only an EP, but plenty of bands can't even record an EP without some meandering.

The driving, mid-tempo "Latter is Better" is solid, featuring some nice vocal harmonies in the chorus, while "Colors" relies on double-time drumming and crunchy, calculated guitars. The dual vocals on "Mark Has Bedroom Eyes" is bound to conjure up comparisons to Set Your Goals, but it's difficult to really mind it much when it's done this well. "Said and Done" has a nice mix of both slowed-down, huge parts and faster, poppy parts that maintain an impressive degree of cohesiveness.

Now that Broadway Calls have signed to Side One Dummy, it seems Living with Lions will be the ones having to fly the pop-punk flag for Adeline, and they seem more than up to the task. I look forward to hearing some new music from them that is actually new.