Caleb Lionheart - Climbing Up a Mountain, Just for the View (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Caleb Lionheart

Climbing Up a Mountain, Just for the View (2010)


On the surface, Caleb Lionheart's Climbing Up a Mountain, Just for the View seems a little less socially and politically assertive than its predecessor, 2008's Think Hardcore, Play Pop Punk EP. Truthfully, the band is just way more subtle about it this time around, proving themselves to be just as adept at more personal overtones; atop that, this is both a musical leap and bound.

The band continues to put a New Found Glory-esque spin on wieldy, Marathon-esque melodic punk, but to be honest, both of those comparisons really aren't nearly as obvious as they were on Pop Punk. Sure, CL still certainly sound like a band that fit well within the modern scope of hardcore and skatepunk-influenced pop-punk bands (contemporaries Half Hearted Hero and Such Gold come to mind), but this EP's a little more realized, unique, and dare I say "mature"-sounding for them. (Even if there's a part in "Flag-Folding" that sounds way too melodically similar to the "breathe in / let it in deep" couplet from Set Your Goals' "Echoes.")

In opener "Coney Island," frontman Tony Bucci asks "Did you hear Disney bought Coney Island?" with peppy, poppy backups emphasizing his rhetorical. They connect this to what such corporate co-opting means for them, though: "I guess I'm just tired of waiting for what I have to be taken away from me."

Through all this translation to personal feeling is a more restrained and desperate feel to the band. Musically, this feels a little clumsy at times, but it's earnest as hell and the pleading, modestly toned vocal harmonies and hooks resonate nicely. "Make Believe" sounds slightly tighter, hearkening back to the band's smart skatepunk integration of yore.

Definitely an improvement showing a band on the upswing. Caleb Lionheart have a shot at really standing out and this is some surefire motivation for it.

Coney Island
Make Believe