The Lionfish comes barreling out of the Northeast US with passion and grit. A synthesis of Rock n Roll and Americana, the Connecticut-based blues rockers have been hard at work on the follow-up to their 2016 debut. Entitled You Won’t Keep Me Down, the album showcases a band developing its sound and coalescing into a powerhouse of rock fury.
The Lionfish – You Won’t Keep Me Down
Influenced by Schwartz’s time in Ecuador, “Dogs of Quito” is a dynamic march through urban imagery. As the “dogs of Quito howl on and on and on!” Schwartz invokes the scenery of wild canines roaming the streets, “just looking for something to eat”. The music is a perfect emotional match, powerful but also parlaying to the listener the dissatisfaction of unfulfilled desires.
The vibe changes on “She Lifts Me Up”, as the listener is treated to a more relaxed atmosphere, augmented by angelic backing vocals and upbeat piano. Reminiscent of 1970s FM radio, the positive feels are helped along by a rhapsodic piano solo. As the band cycles through modulations and jubilant exclamations, Schwartz delivers on his promise that he values love above all else in life.
On “The Last Town”, the band finds themselves exploring their mellow, acoustic side. A sad shuffle, the song details the story of a wandering soul, constantly searching for something unattainable in each next location. “It’s all the same, put my drink down”, Schwartz sings, embodying the weariness of a road-worn traveller.
Overall, the album could benefit from some improvements in production quality. It is not poorly done by any stretch, but perhaps under-done; some added engineering bells and whistles would enhance the experience to the listener. And while he’s certainly a talented vocalist, one wonders if Schwartz is the optimal choice as lead vocalist for every single song; the material is varied enough that some songs may have been helped by variety in vocal timbres as well. All in all, however, You Won’t Keep Me Down is a great second entry in a budding catalogue from a band beginning to hit their sonic stride.
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