Lions in Bootleg Mag

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Posted 26 Mar 2010

“If shotgun blasts could have rhythm then you could possibly duplicate what The Lions Rampant sound like stripped down jangly guitar riffs, howling soul drenched vocals and cavernous drum beats. It’s in your face, rowdy and danceable rock and roll. Think The Smithereens blended coarsely with The Mooney Suzuki. Hailing from Kentucky The Lions Rampant delivers raw, unpolished garage band fervor that owes as much to sixties soul as seventies gutter rock. In just under 18 minutes Play Rock n Roll does more for the genre than most mainstream bands have done in the last eight years. ’70-30′ pushes and pulls, opening the album with wildness and playful energy then easily leads into ‘Let Us In (come on)’ whose chorus harmonies delightfully soar over sharp guitar strumming. It works like a sixties surf film number done with punkier vibe. ‘Cryin All The Time’ is the band’s most inventive song – noodling guitar notes switching off with guitar jabs and climbing/descending riffs, like The Isley Brothers gone raw. But it’s the song’s coda that sizzles, dialing down to a bluesy stretch of drum beats and simmering guitar playing. Stuart MacKenzie is a rock and roll singer who may be criminally overlooked. He can sing soulfully and painfully while keeping it fun. He tackles songs with a ferocity that seems like he just pulled an 18 hour shift before coming in to record. And the addition of Amy Jo on ‘Need A Man?’ is outstanding. The energy captured on Play Rock n Roll is undeniable, the culmination of music firepower workingman ethos.” – Bootleg Magazine