Kerrang! (UK) - - Lives -

FOR FANS OF: The Story So Far, The Won­der Years, Man Over­board

■ The process of mak­ing Is­land, the third al­bum from Van­cou­ver pop-punks Liv­ing With Lions, was a tough one, with drum­mer Loren Le­gare and vo­cal­ist Chase Bren­ne­man both end­ing up re­quir­ing surgery fol­low­ing in­juries sus­tained dur­ing record­ing. Con­se­quently, one might ex­pect the re­sul­tant record to be a mis­er­able af­fair, but Liv­ing With Lions’ take on pop-punk here proves to ac­tu­ally be pretty life-af­firm­ing, as they chan­nel pos­i­tiv­ity gath­ered from their ex­pe­ri­ences. The stand-out mo­ment comes in the form of open­ing track All The Same, an an­themic, pas­sion­ate bat­tle cry that re­calls The Won­der Years at their best. Things never quite reach those highs again after that, how­ever, with much of Is­land con­sist­ing of text­book emo­tive pop-punk. At its best (Hast­ings Sun­rise), Is­land is doused in pas­sion, but does on oc­ca­sion be­come rather iden­tikit (Sec­ond Nar­rows). Over­all, though, Is­land is a good, up­lift­ing slice of pop-punk that may not be rein­vent­ing any wheels, but is so joy­ous it doesn’t re­ally need to. JAKE RICHARD­SON

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