THE LIONS: SOUL RIOT

February 10th, 2015 | Album reviews

THE LIONS
Soul Riot
Stones Throw

The Lions have come together once again to serve up a classic platter of “dusty reggae soul” with Soul Riot. After much deserved anticipation, this talented collective of musicians have returned—inspired by the tradition of analog reggae music and the influence of Los Angeles city living. In 2012, The Lions collaborated with Stones Throw Records for This Generation, a demonstration of how to hold down the roots-reggae revival scene with style, and the result was an instant classic. Fast forward to 2015 where the Lions have put out yet another musical gem called Soul Riot, which sounds like it came out of Duke Reid’s Treasure Isle Studio in the 1970’s—but not quite. This is Los Angeles goodness live and direct, blending classic reggae elements with soul and R&B to create something immediately timeless. Over the course of a dozen tracks (with one being the intro), the Lions take us on a funky trip, reminiscent of open-air sound systems and dancehall floors. The vocal falsettos by Malik “The Freq” echo perfectly and sound like a psychedelic sunny lullaby against Black Shakespeare’s adlibs and toasting. The horn section comes through with massive hooks at the right moments, while the rhythm section stays tight and sways all the way. Soul Riot is an album that will get you grooving and reflecting on that real positive energy. As this California winter fades away into summery bliss, The Lions are roaring so soulfully and ferociously. Bless up and enjoy.

—Stephen Jungco

THE LIONS’ SOUL RIOT RECORD RELEASE WITH DJs TOM CHASTEEN AND BOSS HARMONY AT DUB CLUB ON WED., FEB. 11, AT THE ECHOPLEX, 1154 GLENDALE BLVD., ECHO PARK. 9 PM / FREE BEFORE 10 PM / $10 AFTER / 21+. MORE INFO HERE! THE LIONS’ SOUL RIOT IS AVAILABLE NOW FROM STONES THROW.