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Pride of Lions: Lion Heart

Pride of Lions is the vehicle (there's a joke in there) of ex-Survivor/Ides of March songsmith Jim Peterik and powerhouse vocalist Toby Hitchcock and Lion Heart is their sixth album. I have found much to love in all the previous five and the live album recorded in Belgium. Lion Heart maintains a high degree of quality and delivers exactly what you may have come to expect from Pride of Lions.

Ostensibly Pride of Lions exist to give Jim Peterik a vehicle (snigger) to play guitar without Frankie Sulivan pointing him back to the keyboard and to be fair he's a pretty shit hot player. He's a much better guitarist than he is a singer but when you're in charge you can do what you want, right? Toby Hitchcock is one of may favourite vocalists though I am aware that many find both him and much of the Lions' output to be too theatrical. I have always found both Peterik and PoL to be one of the more uplifting acts out there at the moment although I know that some would them deeply cheesey. Each to their own, I suppose.

Lion Heart is more of the PoL that fans have come to know and love over the years. Great tunes? Songs such as the single "Carry Me Back" and "Good Thing Going" have tremendous hum-ability (might have made a word up there,) "Unfinished Heart" is the big ballad drenched in keyboards and understated power chords and oh, the voice, the voice of Toby Hitchcock. Lyrically the whole album is relentlessly upbeat �" come up against a mountain? Climb it! Fighting against the odds is a prerequisite. Having a Lion Heart, making a difference, weather metaphors are all present and correct. In fact they are all present and correct in the opener and title cut. Seldom has track one laid down the direction of an album, possibly since "All I See Is You" by er, Pride of Lions on 2017's Fearless!

All the codes and conventions, nay cliches of the melodic rock genre are in place. "We Play for Free" has stabby keyboards aplenty, "Heart of the Warrior" bounces along like a hyperactive puppy with the keys and bass locked together like something off Survivor's Vital Signs as does "Give It Away". There's a stab at social commentary on "Rock & Roll Boomtown" and to some extent in the album closer "Now" which is about as dark as Pride of Lions ever get but there's still the opportunity to dance to the music of chance. In many ways this sums up Lion Heart in that it's a Jim Peterik/Pride of Lions; it does exactly what you want it to do and in these uncertain times it's good to have something to rely on.

Track Listing:
Lion Heart

We Play For Free

Heart Of The Warrior

Carry Me Back

Sleeping With A Memory

Good Thing Gone

Unfinished Heart

Give It Away


Rock & Roll Boomtown

You’re Not A Prisoner


Added: October 9th 2020
Reviewer: Simon Bray
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1893
Language: english

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