Words: Craig Hartranft
You've heard the tale told. Around the barbie in the Summer, the older relative, you know, the one with the long gray ponytail, balding head, scruffy goatee, and psychedelic tie-dye t-shirt, kinda looks like George Carlin. He tells you he was conceived at Woodstock during the Summer of Love. Well, the band Lioncage was conceived by Thorsten Bertermann (v), Torsten Lanndsberger (d) and Lars Konig (g) at a festival in Loreley that was headlined by Toto and Whitesnake. Excepting their debut album, Done At Last, I don't know if there will be any other babies involved.
Considering the headliners at the show, their love of Eighties music, and playing in cover bands doing the same, you can probably guess Lioncage's musical style. AOR melodic hard rock. My first impression, however, was not all that postive, at least, at the start. Whether it was the sound, the pace, or the timbre of Bertermann's voice, the opening songs of the album sounded old as in dated, even lethargic. Even the saxophone within Dancing Queen, as lovely as it was, never really lifted the song. Alternatively, if you consider the parts, Lioncage is definitely not without talent, musicianship and songwriting skills. The vocal harmonies are smooth; all songs begin and end with melody and catchy arrangement and lyrical phrasing; the guitar lines, both riffs and leads, are dynamic, and the rhythm section holds down the beat and keeps the groove. Yet, the sum of the parts seemed to merely create songs that seemed forced and plodding. To this end, I can point to only two songs that piqued my interest. One was Till The Morning Comes, for the piano and vocal harmonies. The other was Where Do We Go simply because it felt the liveliest of the bunch, and the chorus was catchy. Yeah, maybe it's just me, and what I heard. Music is quite the personal thing. Otherwise, for classic late Seventies to Eighties style AOR melodic hard rock, Lioncage is on the right path, one of promise and potential.
For classic late Seventies to Eighties style AOR melodic hard rock, Lioncage is on the right path, one of promise and potential.
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