Lion Splicer: Holiday in Dystopia

Three track release The Valkyrie EP earlier this year, marked metal duo Lion Splicer as a band to watch closely whilst enjoying a bruising and invigorating mesh of metal and rock n roll. The New York pair now returns with new album Holiday in Dystopia and show in the mere months between releases, a marked progression to their sound. It is still as riotous and unpredictable as ever, at times a chaotic storm of sounds and ideas to relish, but there is a clarity missing previously and a leap in their already sharp invention. The eight songs within the release are diverse and imaginative, a scorching and compulsive rub fuelled by at times aggression and spite whilst in other moments by sheer beauty. It was unexpected to be honest and most welcome as the band show the early promise and impressions were just the beginning of great things.

Danny Splice (drums, piano, percussion) and Max Splice (vocals, lead and rhythm guitars, bass guitar, percussion) have created a full range of essences which move on those within the EP and explore many more. Arguably their core is heavy metal with thrash and punk tendencies, but to that you can add stoner, progressive, and groove metal, and that is still missing plenty. Holiday in Dystopia is a rampage of fun, mischief, and musicianship which engages wholly and excites consistently. As mentioned the production clarity is just right this time around, thanks to the returning Nathan Long alongside Max Splice, the pair finding the right mix to the outstanding and unforgettable presence of songs.

The opening Jezebel is a fiery ball of flaming rock n roll, its hard rock energies fuelling the insatiable heart of the song. With charged riffs and galloping guitar sonics burning a place in the heart around the scowling vocals and belligerent bass sounds, the track is a riot to jump on board with. It borders a chaotic fall a couple of times but that just adds to its devilish wink.

The Whip opens with an inciteful bassline before prowling around and through the ear with intimidating riffs and group bruises vocally. Featuring a guitar solo from Long, the track is a forceful prod of thrash and classic metal which leaves one almost breathless. Again like the first it almost has too many elements at play to run with a perfect fluidity but it merely makes the track just more intriguing and psychotically powerful, not to mention satisfying.

The punk driven title track steps in next to push and barge the senses with dirty riffs and combative energies, its barracking shouts and incendiary guitar play irresistible. It is another brawl of rock which one cannot refuse or easily move on from. From this point things get very unexpected and interesting. The next two songs are instrumentals, outstanding guitar led pieces which simply shine with invention and quality. They are equal to what came before but as openly different, like the clean cut brothers to party crashing miscreants. Little Conquerors is a short and mesmeric piece, a shimmering caress of warmth whilst its successor Forgotten City unleashes infectious grooves and an incendiary magnetism which simply fires up the passions.

The release is completed by Watchtower and Panopticon Stomp, with third instrumental Utopia in Regalia sandwiched between the two. The first is a black metal flavoured abrasion which is pleasing enough whilst the closer is a tempest of energy and ideas brought through intense aggression and sounds. Utopia in Regalia stands above them both though, the expressive journey and breath offered an easy to devour expanse of stylish guitar play from Max with a guest solo from Andres Abenante, and emotive piano. With no negativity towards the vocalised songs, Lion Splicer hit their highest summits on the instrumentals showing the skill and still immense promise of the band in the future.

Holiday in Dystopia is great fun, an album to party hard with whilst taking refreshing breathers within its eager presence. If dirty rock n roll with inventive surprises sounds good then Lion Splicer is your next best friend especially when they give their album away for free @ http://lionsplicer.bandcamp.com/

RingMaster 17/10/2012

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Lion Splicer: Valkyrie EP

     

Lion Splicer is a duo from New York City and a band which creates sounds to accost the ear from a very welcome mischievousness and unbridled eagerness. The pair of brothers, 20 year old Max Splice (lead guitars, bass, and vocals) and 17 year old brother, Danny Splice (drums), make music that is metal based but with ruptured veins of garage punk and filth coated rock oozing within its urgent depths. Combined it makes for rock that pumps up senses with an intensity complete with a wicked glint in its eye and drooling thick enthusiasm dripping from heavy mud coated lips.

Recorded in New York at Little Mouse With A Big Cock Studios and mixed over in the UK, in Bath by Nathan Long, the three track Valkyrie EP is a fore taste of the debut album from the pair later this year. The three songs on offer more than instigating an intrigued and eager wait for the full length release whilst giving an enthused satisfaction of their very own.

The release opens with Beatrix the Valkyrie and a jazzy backed vocal sample before exploding into a blistering mix of thrash, metal and garage punk senses stomping mayhem.  The song also has a seventies vibe thrusting the song forward with a heavy rock intent. Guitars cruise the ear like belligerent gang members whilst riffs lay waste as their heavy artillery and the drums punish with devilment in their wind. The song as the EP itself has no intentions on marking new territories for music but just wants to party and bruise its recipients with straight forward satisfying rock n roll.

Next the duo unleash a cover of the Yardbirds song Train Kept a Rollin’ complete with scorched guitar solos and a mustiness that consumes and envelopes nicely. As with its predecessor the song transports one to a seventies imposing bar scenario, all eagerness and blurred definition that is a treat. Featuring the additional vocals of Saman Rouhani and guitar from Nathan Long, who also adds the same on the closing Sector 7, the song is just an enjoyable boisterous aggressive lined romp, a comment one can happily apply to the whole release to be honest.

The Final Fantasy VII inspired Sector 7 (Return to Reactor) closes the release and is a classic metal toned piece of thrash fuelled metal. The track rumbles through the ear with ease and instant appeal, its riffs flexing like pecs whilst the guitars lay a wanton sizzling blaze across the senses. The progressive feel it adds is a seamlessly added pleasure as is the closing diversion into an indie punk aside that lights up the heart with quality invention and hypnotic play. All songs should have hooks and imagination this easy to feast upon.

The Valkyrie EP is a joy which is only stopped from being something really special by the production. Apologies if the intention was to have a fog bound claustrophobic feel to the release but it only goes to hamper what are very impressive and enterprising, not to forget pleasing songs.  Hopefully the album will be more open and have a clarity missing here. Nevertheless Lion Splicer have still brought a release that is irresistible and an impressive invitation for their full length debut in a few months time and best of all it is free so go grab the Valkyrie EP @ http://lionsplicer.bandcamp.com/album/valkyrie

RingMaster11/04/2012

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