Acres Of Lions

Working

Written by: PP on 02/03/2009 12:45:52

I've always wondered why there haven't been too many Motion City Soundtrack clones considering the widespread success those guys have had over the course of their three albums. Well, it seems I've found one now in Victoria, Canada-based Acres Of Lions, as these guys sound like a cross-section of Jimmy Eat World and Motion City Soundtrack on their debut album "Working".

The album opens up rather strangely with a six and a half minute mammoth "Entertainment", which references the slowest and softest Jimmy Eat World tracks while emitting a somewhat sad atmosphere throughout the song. There's a gentle repeating guitar riff leading the song pretty much for the first two minutes before the chorus arrives, where the band finally explodes into something louder and more interesting. Maybe it's just me, but opening your album with perhaps your longest, slowest, most balladic track isn't a good idea, because it gives the opposite idea of the record than, say, "Let's Get Sentimental", which sounds like it could be straight out of Motion City Soundtrack's "Commit This To Memory". It's an upbeat pop punk track, and although Acres Of Lions use keyboard to a much lesser extent than MCS, the up-and-down, cheerful vocal harmony is almost identical to the style Justine Pierre uses in some of my favorite MCS tracks. "Closer" is another similar track, relying on a careful balance between an upbeat rhythm akin to pop punk bands and an alternative rock chorus recalling lots of "Bleed American"-era Jimmy Eat World in the process. Then on "December", the band continues to sound like a Motion City Soundtrack clone, only with a much darker and gloomier vibe overall. Where are the happy feelings and the cheerful keyboard sounds that make MCS so enjoyable to listen?

Granted, Acres Of Lions probably aren't trying to sound exactly like Motion City Soundtrack, but on a holistic level, that's the feeling most tracks on "Working" present to the listener. It sways between emotionally charged pop ballads and joyous pop punk throughout in a hit and miss logic: a few tracks hit bullseye (see the aforementioned tracks and the disco-beta in "Dance Sequence"), but a couple, especially the more experimental pieces, end up just droning by without making an impression. That being said, "Working" is a fine debut album from a band that we'll surely be hearing more from in the future.

Download: Closer, December, Let's Get Sentimental
For the fans of: Jimmy Eat World, Motion City Soundtrack
Listen: Myspace

Release date 10.02.2009
Cordova Bay

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