From its very first moment, Celebrate The Lie attacks with the ferocity of a viper. It bites and doesn’t let go, infecting you not with venom, but with adrenaline.
Slowly Sinking, the first track and most recent preview from Born Lion’s sophomore LP, was a flawless choice from the band. It precedes the album with a perfect, explosive energy… my only complaint would be that it’s not slow at all.
For that matter, neither is the album.
Celebrate The Lie from Born Lion is rock ‘n’ roll at its most deliberate, dirty and downright high voltage.
If you were hoping for a change in pace, I’m sorry. That’s just not what Celebrate The Lie is about.
Second track Evil K takes the baton from Slowly Sinking and hits the accelerator. As you drink in lines like “I was born with a death wish” and “See you on the other side”, it should be abundantly clear that this is an album which lives in the red zone.
Raw energy aside, the track makes a well-thought connection between rock ‘n’ roll frontmen and Evel Knievel. “This is what the crowd came for”, screams John Bowker, presumably as he flings himself on top of the mosh with the same disregard as a stuntman would.
“I’m about to meet my maker”, he sings. It’s a song made for a singular purpose; to absolutely wreck a crowd.
Celebrate The Lie was produced by Jimmy Balderstone (Luca Brasi, High Tension, Grenadiers) and mixed by Ryan Hazell (The Drones, Green Buzzard), and the hard rock pedigree shines through start to finish.
For a record so busy, the mix is completely articulate. Rather than fighting amongst themselves as you’d expect, the vocals, percussion and guitars all leave plenty of space for each other to thrash about. The real challenge will be curating this feeling live.
In the middle-ti-late order, Celebrate The Lion does lean back into more anthemic territory on tracks such as Highs and Lows, and again on Endless. I do say this as comparison, mind you. While certain tracks feel less energised than Born Lion’s fiercest, they’re still ragged enough to sand down concrete.
Rather than providing softer songs, Born Lion provide softer moments on Celebrate The Lie. Moments that say, “alright, you can breathe now… but not for long”. Penultimate track Shadow is a 90-second speed test that leads into WASTE, where these moments are most fully realised.
As Bowker croons “I was waiting, it fucked with my mind”, you realise that the band all but revel in momentum. They’ll never sit down, never stop cranking out tunes, and never stop turning crowds upside down.
Born Lion have screeched off the mark with Celebrate The Lie, a fierce sophomore effort. How far will their steam take them? The horizon’s the limit.
Celebrate The Lie is available Friday February 16th. Catch Born Lion on their East Coast tour:
FRI 23 FEB | BENDIGO HOTEL, MELBOURNE VIC
SAT 24 FEB | ED’S CASTLE, ADELAIDE SA
FRI 2 MAR | THE FLAMING GALAH, BRISBANE QLD
SAT 3 MAR | THE CHIPPO, SYDNEY NSW