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Written by  Jo Higginbotham

Tokyo Motor Fist comes in heavy with their new release, Lions.  Featuring singer Ted Poley of Danger Danger and guitarist/producer Steve Brown of Trixter along with Chuck Burgi on drums and Greg Smith on bass, Tokyo Motor Fist produces an old school metal and hard rock sound with new and interesting takes. Lions is an excellent entry for old and new fans of high energy, guitar-driven, kick-you-in-the-face music.

The album starts off hot with a classic ‘80s feel.  Listeners will immediately notice a freshness in delivery in opening track, “Youngblood.”  This song’s catchy hook and lively gang vocals give the listener a taste for what’s to come. The victorious mood is fitting for the overall theme of Lions. “Monster In Me” includes fun, walking rhythms by Brown and gives an interesting contrast to the previous track.  Then, “Around Midnight” shifts to a fun, modern feel, with some of those more classic metal and rock influences still very present.  Immediately, there’s a nice mix of style and arrangement, making it feel fresh track after track.

“Mean It” is another energetic piece with charming guitar work from Brown and a thick bass tone from Smith. The album then makes a shift with the title song, “Lions.”  Featuring a dark orchestral arrangement, this one is highlighted with an amazing performance by Poley along with an incredibly impactful hook.  Without warning, “Decadence On 10th Street” takes the listener down a hard, riffy trail.  Creative melodies on the guitar keep the song moving, while Poley expresses a late ‘70s hard rock attitude.  The band really glues together on this track. The victorious feeling of the album returns in “Dream Your Heart Out” and “Blow Your Mind.”

Possibly my favorite song on Lions was “Sedona,” and not just for the brass that makes for a pleasant surprise, and without taking away from the harder styles found within this album.  “Sedona” shows the versatility of these artists, taking a big step away from the vibe of the other songs on Lions, but doing so in a way that couldn’t be smoother.  This song definitely has something to offer for lovers of various genres.  “Look Into Me,” takes it back again to an atmospheric ballad, then “Winner Takes All” makes for another triumphant anthem, to close out this powerhouse of an album.

Overall, the heavy tone and riffing by Brown, cool bass lines by Smith, and the fat kick and snare by Burgi, coupled with Poley’s spectacular vocals, makes this album feel nostalgic, yet new.  While it all has a heavy rock and metal feel, many of the songs step away from what one might expect, and generally in creative ways, which definitely pay off. Whether you love old school or new school hard rock and metal, you will love Lions.  It's truly a pleasant surprise in an otherwise chaotic world, and an album that will have you pressing repeat over and over. Great job Toyko Motor Fist, this one ROCKS!!


As always, rock on my friends!     Hunnypot Approved!     Overall Rating:  8.1 out of 10

Artist:  Tokyo Motor Fist,  LPLions  Release Date: July 10th, 2020,   Label:  Frontiers Music Srl


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