LIONS IN THE STREET

Lions In The Street photo by Leigh Righton2TAKE THE REINS

On The Lam is very much a rock ‘n’ roll record, which is equal parts denim and leather. A brand new EP by Vancouver’s rockers, Lions In The Street. “It’s about exile and being exiled …. angry songs,” says vocalist/lead guitarist Chris Kinnon and “it’s not seventies rock anymore.” The band remains a four piece with Sean Casey on rhythm/acoustic/slide guitars, Enzo Figliuzzi on bass and Jeff Kinnon on drums and vocals. The new release is set to hit the streets February 19, out on Beverley Martel worldwide.

After their seventies flavoured, self-titled album, there has definitely been some living, grit and growth behind the music. With changes, but still a few connections. “This one’s not so backward-looking. We made what we feel was as good a retro record as anyone’s ever made, so it was time to move in a new direction. We love the 2009 record and are very proud of it, but it was time for something new and different. Really challenged ourselves with this. Also, listened to lots of metal!” says Kinnon.

One link between the albums are the tunings, the older album was in open tuning and a couple of the songs on the new EP are as well, but the others are in standard tuning. “So that changes the timbre of the music,” explains Kinnon, “but the approach is the same.” The EP will include a remixed version of “Moving Along” which came by request. An earlier version appears on the 2009 LP. “Tighten the Reins” is another ‘riff rock’ number on the album. “[It is a song] about assholes who take advantage of vulnerability and hit them when they’re down. They can tighten but never control,” says Kinnon. The sound on the other songs can be described fuzzy, dark and heavy. “There are more minor chords in this music than anything else we’ve recorded, the guitar tones are a little bit nastier, maybe,” he says, “the rockier side of Cheap Trick, not power pop.” There are no keyboards this time either. Another number off the EP, “So Far Away” is described as “about the temptation to become arrogant and proud and deal with things vigilante or on your own,” he says.

Lions in the Street was a rock n roll band that was poised to do big things, very big things with a label looking at producers such as Todd Rundgren and Bob Ezrin. You hear the stories about bands being dropped by their labels; theirs was a story about a label that would not let them go with an album that was never finished. They initially entered the recording session with power-pop material and by midway the band really had hit their stride writing and amassing a great deal of new material along with rock n roll songs. There was a disagreement with the label as to which songs were going to be part of the record and which songs weren’t. After substantial time, considerable expense out of the band’s own pockets and litigation, they were finally able to break free. By 2009, the band independently released the self-titled Lions In The Street LP, an incredibly infectious album with nod to seventies rock ‘n’ roll. You can still download the self-titled debut LP or order a CD at lionsinthestreet.com

Fast forward to 2013, with the EP On The Lam under their belt, Lions in the Street will be heading down to SXSW this year. They are also working on a tour. There will be Canadian stops and are looking at western dates in Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Saskatchewan, Whistler, Victoria and very select Vancouver gigs.

Lions In The Street will join La Chinga Saturday, March 2 as both bands celebrate EP releases at the Astoria.

By tiina liimu
Photo: Leigh Righton

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