Acres of Lions – Collections (Review)
Review by Jack Foley
CANADIAN heartbreak rockers Acres of Lions drop their first UK material in the form of the lively Collections.
Comprised of Jeff Kalesnikoff (vocals, guitar), Tyson Yerex (keyboard, guitar), Dan Ball (bass) and Shane Deyotte (drums), the band hails from Victoria and coyly describe themselves as ‘a pop-rock band’. They’ve also cannily hooked up with not one, but two labels – Alcopop! and fierce panda.
The ensuing album sounds like a keen mix of the alt-pop American sound of bands like The All-American Rejects with the more polished British pop sound of home-grown acts like Scouting For Girls.
And while there is definitely a generic quality to a lot they have to offer, there are some gems worth uncovering.
Primary among these is the ‘do do do-do do’ laden Forgive And Forget, which showcases their keen ear for a melody anyone can get behind. It’s made for singing along to, yet has a bittersweet vibe to its lyrics that makes it more appealing. They combine the sweet and the sour well.
Narrow Miss also takes off from some catchy guitar hooks and opens into a decent kind of power pop-rock effort that could easily appeal to Feeder fans.
Elsewhere, Reaction – one of two lead singles – has a sunshine pop vibe that is ripe for comparison to the upbeat sound associated with Scouting For Girls (tight choruses, ‘ba ba ba ba’ hooks, etc), while album opener and the other lead single Set Me On Fire is also a pretty decent foot-stomper (although an odd choice for album opener given that it has a more generic sound).
There is, of course, the obligatory slower number, which arrives in the form of Like A Drum and which endears itself too and displays a more sensitive side to the band’s make-up. Collections, too, ends the album on a slower note, and with a touch of romanticism inherent in the instrumentals that again easily endears.
Hence, while never quite managing to blow you away, Acres of Lions are a likeable act who deserve to make a splash on this side of the Atlantic now that they’ve finally arrived.
Download picks: Forgive And Forget, Like A Drum, Reaction