By Deaglan Howlett | Posted Tuesday, March 20, 2018
I have had the pleasure of playing some shows with American Lions in the past, which is how I first discovered them. The first time I caught American Lions was a little over a year ago in Morristown. At the time, I was seriously impressed with their songs, volume, and sheer energy. They just really seemed like they had it all together, super professional. Fast forward a year, I was playing another show with them at some VFW and, man, it was like they were playing Madison Square Garden. They were seriously professional; they had the look, a photographer and an insane amount of energy. At that point, I knew something big was coming from this group.
American Lions are made up of Justin (Vocals/Bass), Joshua (Vocals/Piano/Guitar), James (Guitar), and Fitz (Drums). According to their Spotify, “American Lions is a rock and roll band hailing from New Brunswick, New Jersey. Deeply rooted in the DIY community, the band began in August 2013. After releasing two EPs and an acoustic single, the band returned to The Panda Studios in January 2017 to record their first full-length album. Produced and mixed by Sam Pura (TSSF/Basement/Hundredth), the album shows a wide variety of growth, emotion and more.”
Serf Rock is the culmination of five years of shows, practices, and writing. The production and songwriting make it hard to believe this is American Lions' first full-length album. The tracks are well-constructed and sometimes complicated, yet prove to not be distracting in any way. Clearly, they are all players at the top of their game on this release. Serf Rock consists of catchy singles like “Ruby Red” but also contains blistering instrumental tracks like the song "Serf Rock."
Overall, I was seriously blown away by Serf Rock. While still maintaining their DIY ethos (of which they will most likely never lose), American Lions have made an album easily reachable for fans of all genres. Support your hard working New Brunswick bands, because without them there wouldn’t be a local music scene worth checking out.