LIONS
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LIONS

Austin, Texas, United States

Austin, Texas, United States
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February 24, 2009 06:02 PM
Katie Hasty

South by Southwest has been good to Lions. In 2008, the band not only scored a management deal from Steve Hutton/Uppercut Management at the conference, but also secured a synch license to make its song "Metal Heavy Lady" a playable track in "Guitar Hero 3."

"We made friends with the Activision guy after a few beers at some stupid after-party somewhere in Austin. I guess we make friends easily," vocalist/guitarist Matt Drenik says with a laugh. "Metal Heavy Lady" has gone on to sell 3,000 downloads, according to Nielsen SoundScan. "We were the little band that can."

The Austin-based crew combines '70s hard rock and psych elements, perfected by veteran artists like Alice Cooper, with buzzing, stoner guitar riffs and Drenik's strong wail. His speak-singing on songs like "Start Movin' " and the title track from the album "No Generation" have earned comparisons to Rage Against the Machine.

The band released "Start Movin' " in late 2007 but decided to rerelease it in late 2008 to capitalize on increased exposure from "Guitar Hero." From there, it secured synch licenses on Showtime's "Californication" and placed several songs in the new FX series "Sons of Anarchy." Michael Fey from Chime Entertainment recently joined the team to find more licensing opportunities.

While synchs are helping line the band's pockets, Lions considers its impressively tight live show to be its bread and butter. With help from day-to-day manager Jeff Sackman, the band has toured with Toadies, Blue Cheer and Local H and opened for such bands as the Misfits, Russian Circles and Early Man. After finishing a follow-up to "No Generation," the band plans on touring the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe, with booking help from the Helter Skelter Agency and publicity from Duff Press. - Billboard Magazine


It’d be so easy to throw a heap of feline puns throughout this piece but, frankly, this Austin, Texas, trio are better than any journalist’s wisecracks! Specialising in funky (not slap-bass funky, more
groovy) psychedelic rock, Lions sound like a cross between Jane’s Addiction smoking a doobie with Fu Manchu, while on a Southern Comfort induced
drinking bender! Packed with groovy riffs and nicotine
rinsed vocals, Lions will drop a fuzz-bomb on the world in 09 – mark our words! DS - Rock Sound Magazine UK


"Lions are actually interested in dynamics, an all-too-rare trait in bands of their beery ilk. This doesn't mean Lions have balladeer tendencies — the guitars surge and thrust, while Matt Drenik's vocals sound like the result of a drunk, horny demon screaming into a wind tunnel. The Austin quartet simply knows how to build a hard-rocking tonal atmosphere, even in the spaces between Jake Perlman's hammerhead drumming. Lions are the Eagles of death metal, had they spent an entire adolescent summer with Black Flag's "In My Head". - Houston Press


"Not that the Blitz - or the Rock, I should say – is bloody likely to keep you abreast of such things, but Lions has been getting the kind of word of mouth that most bands would kill for. The question is whether or not it is warranted. In fact, the hype is pretty much on the money. Think of the generation of bands that were active right before grunge broke – i.e. Hiro Yamamoto-era Soundgarden and Bullet Lavolta – and mix that naïve, heavy groove with late '90s stoner metal. The result is Lions, a band to be reckoned with, and one smart enough to look for influences outside of the trends." – Rick Allen, The Other Paper - The Other Paper - Columbus, OH


"Austin-based Lions provide enough of a steroid-fueled kick to the ass to startle even the most detached spectator, and the low-mixed, scratchy vocals only add to the hazy drone of the band's sound—one largely unseen since the glam rock days of the '70s. Perhaps that's why Lions, who'll be supporting the Toadies on the Fort Worth band's upcoming summer tour, found their song "Metal Heavy Lady" featured in Guitar Hero 3." - Dallas Observer


"While there’s certainly plenty for Lions to rail against in the world, the album doesn’t particularly lash against any specific political or social force, but rather the lack of direction or purpose in all those forces. Lions is first and foremost about rock, about dropping loud fuzz-bombs that shake foundations, and while the guitars recall Rage Against the Machines’ monstrous thunder, the political intent springs not from diatribes, but the need to let go and unleash any restraint, whatever it may be. The band doesn’t seem to give a damn about provoking a call to action against anything, but more produce an undeniable, straightforward demand for Action, for movement that refuses detachment or indifference. No Generation therefore takes on the lethargy of displacement and fills the void." - Austin Sound


"Packing heavy riffs and driving drum lines, Austin's Lions have tapped into the raw sound and energy that makes metal heroes out of dudes in dank, dirty rock bars." - Lawrence Weekly


"Their sound is a ferocious blend of fuzz, sweat and riffs, with a slinky Southern groove holding it all together." - Nashville Scene


"Loud and violent only alludes to the eardrum shattering and mind-blowing experience that is Lions." - Real Detroit Weekly


"Live, Lions are a full-on firefight, Black Crowes Southern hemp twisted with PCP loud and violent." - Austin Chronicle


Discography

Let No One Fall - EP - UK Release - Maybe Records - November 2009
Sons of Anarchy: North Country EP Soundtrack “Girl from the North Country” – September 2009
Californication Soundtrack: Volume 2 "Can You Hear Me" - November 2008
No Generation - US Re-release nationally – October 2008
No Generation Limited Edition Vinyl – July 2008
No Generation LP – October 2007
Volume 1 EP – March 2006

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Bio

With the distinctive howling wail of singer Matt Drenik and guitarist Austin Kalman proving to be one of the best upcoming guitarists, Lions slam together a booze soaked Texas sized boogie ala ZZ Top and a fury of pounding rhythms and grooves reminiscent of early Soundgarden. Take those ingredients and toss in a group of guys who look, sound and play like a pack of golden misfits rising from the mystery of the south, and you’ve got Lions. They create a blend of chaotic riffage, artful noise, melodic interludes, and revolutionary attitude with a live show that has been described as “furious” with “a full-frontal assault” that will leave you “half-deaf and disoriented.”

Formed in the summer of 2005, Austin, TX’s Lions have been receiving coast-to-coast praise since their inception and original release of “No Generation” in 2007. With heavy touring and unrelenting will to rule harder than anyone else, the band’s endless hustle
has been garnering them a massive underground fan base solidified by the fact that Lions were the only unsigned band to be featured on Guitar Hero 3.

Along with touring the States in support of the Toadies and Local H in 2008, they’ve shared the stage with bands such as The Supersuckers, The Misfits, Valient Thorr, DMBQ, Russian Circles, Mike Watt, The Meatmen, Daughters, Nebula, Early Man, and Fu Manchu.

Lions took the 2008 High Times Magazine “Doobie Award” for best new underground artist, and received a nod from Rock Sound Magazine (UK) as a breaking band in 2009. Since the band’s inception, Lions have received critical acclaim from many media outlets such as Billboard, Jambase, Austin Chronicle, Houston Press, Dallas Observer, Nashville Scene, The Onion, Real Detroit Weekly...