Ben Benton, Callum Lausberg and Tom Cullinane make up the band Lionhouse. Their recent debut Inches of Ashes showcases a rock band that is in the embryonic stage of their development and shows some potential. There aren't too many unique elements in the music at this point but you can hear influences from bands from the late ‘70s to the mid ‘90’s.
The biggest issue with this release is the recording quality. Suffice it to say there are many things to be desired. Inches of Ashes sounds like a live recording where there is little clarity and separation. On top of that the songs are at different volumes which is problematic when trying to listen to the release all the way through.
The EP starts with “Screwball” which sounds like certified ‘70s hard rock. I enjoyed the crunchy riff and vocals. That being said the vocals are so muddy and unclear I could only make out a couple of words here and there. There is a hint of Queens Of The Stone Age during a couple of different sections.
Be warned that the second song “Truth” is about 4 to 5 dbs louder than the first! That being said the song is a decent effort and I enjoyed the overall vibe and feel. For some odd reason the third song “Big Sur” drops in volume and also drops the 70’s vibe that the previous songs had. There is a contemporary 2015 mainstream rock feel to this song. “Isn't That A Boys Name?” has a bit of funk mixed in with the hard rock.
As the album progresses the songs are hit and miss. You can occasionally hear inspired moments on songs like “Kindred Spirit” and “Beautiful Disarray.”
The band is currently working on a full length and I hope this time around they are recording in a professional studio or working with an engineer. These songs were unequivocally held back in a number of ways. Musically, the band wears their influences on their sleeves and a majority of the songs were well-written if predictable. The band has a lot of work to do if they want to compete with some of the best we have in music today. Hopefully, the band will be more realized on their next effort.
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