It’s amazing in this day and age of internet highways creating a digital sea of music availability that one can still discover new bands from even the tiniest of cities. For all the bad (the well documented free/stealing/sharing of the artists creations) there’s a lot of good as well. For instance, if it was not for the internet I would never have discovered or heard of a band called Lionsault. After a recommendation from a friend, Taylor Sheasgreen (guitarist) reached out to me, forwarding digital mp3’s of his band Lionsault‘s debut release, Are You Feeling Lucky?. And I’m glad that he did! Lionsault hail from Miramichi, a relatively small city in New Brunswick, one of the three Canadian Maritime Provinces. The city is fairly young, having been created through the forced amalgamation of several smaller towns and communities in 1995 and is now the largest city in the Northern part of the province, according to Wikipedia. Certainly not the usual place to find a kick-ass rock band, especially comprised of mid-twenty-somethings.
According to their official bio, Lionsault started life as a classic rock cover band but changed pace once the sibling duo of Kortni (vocals/bass) and Chase Nicols (drums) joined forces with Taylor Sheasgreen (guitar/backing vocals) in 2010. The pace change resulted in what they describe as “a hard-hitting, in-your-face hard rock sound, touched by classic rock complimented with a modern metal twist, with intense melodic female vocals leading the way”. The name Lionsault is taken from wrestler Chris Jericho’s signature move, where he sprints towards the ropes, jumps off of the middle rope, and backflips onto a downed opponent.
The album launches out of the gates with a quick 70’s reminiscent guitar before more modern hard rock sounds explode from the speaker cones. While this opening track, “Shoot ’em Up”, has qualities that I liked it was not initially a favorite for me on Are You Feeling Lucky? With subsequent rotations, that opinion has adjusted severely and it has grown on me to become one of the standouts here. “Living With the Devil” however was the exact opposite and struck a huge chord with the ole Meister right off the bat. It seems to have a little less of that “modern sound” and is more of a driving hard rock anthem infused with a throwback punk feeling to it. Chase furiously pounds his kit as Sheasgreen‘s constant barraging riffs throughout are only outdone by the vocal prowess of Kortni Nicols. Even as the track mellows momentarily around the midway point and Nicols ups the ante on the sultry-ness of her singing, this track is a definite highlight. Check out the “Living With the Devil” official video below. From there we get a little “Reckless” which has a kind of an awesome funk to it and “High Stakes” starts off ripping and doesn’t let up for the whole runtime….a fantastic headbanger! The 70’s influences shine through again on “Light It Up” and “Counting Down” simply has me counting down the days until I can witness this trio in a live setting, perhaps I’m off to Miramichi for Lionsault‘s Dec 27 show? Time now for some blues guitar on the five and a half minute track, “Sick As It Gets”, a showcase once again for the super sultry tones of Kortni‘s voice that drips with just the right amount of sleaze but the track does seem to drag on just a little too long. “Running Wild” thunders along and the swagger of “Vixen” ought to keep that toe tapping and head bobbing. Are You Feeling Lucky? wraps up with “LMB”, a near six and a half minute opus, that unfortunately to someone who usually prefers the bombastic full on assaults, loses my attention.
All in all, Lionsault have issued a ten track collection of fantastic cuts exhibiting a window into the huge potential these three have for making great music spanning influences of hard rock, punk and classic rock.