Lionface – Beast (EP) (Hunted Records)


Lionface is the recording name for Bristol’s Kat Marsh who some may recognise as the bass-player and second vocalist for the now defunct London ukulele punks, The King Blues.

A couple of weeks ago we reviewed “Blue Heart Rate”, the lead single from this brand new 3-song EP, ‘Beast’, which follows the success of the ‘Run For Cover’ EP back in February.

During the first 60 seconds of opening track “Blue Heart Rate” a ‘Supernature’-era Goldfrapp meets Massive Attack styling is showcased both vocally and musically before, leaping from out of nowhere, a distorted, low-end heavy bass and punk-vocal snarl combine punching the listener smack in the face. From here the song explodes with a Muse-like enormity into what is quite literally the biggest sounding chorus you’ll hear all year. In fact, it’s so big, it’s almost theatrical. Yet for all its volume, power and energy the chorus is laced with sugary pop hooks.

“Good Story”, strongly characterised by gritty B3 organs and hard-hitting drums, again showcases Lionface’s ability to craft strong pop hooks. Its instrumentation is sparing in comparison to “Blue Heart Rate” but that doesn’t stop Kat belting throughout with a scorching Florence Welch-like power.

The EP’s third and final track is the slightly understated (well, for Lionface…) “We Rise” which begins with Kat’s melodic, R&B influenced vocal melody set against a breathy, rhythmic synth joined soon after by piano, strings and lively hard-hitting drums. Like bookends,”Blue Heart Rate” and “We Rise” share a similar mood and production yet in comparison “We Rise” is the more restrained and less immediate track.

Accentuating the solid songwriting is the impeccable production work by Peter Miles [The King Blues, Dry The River, We Are The Ocean, The Skints], which is made up of industrial drums, gritty organs, orchestral strings and bass wobbles, all capped off with Kat’s incredibly powerful and impressive vocals.

An impressive little EP which most certainly assures Lionface of a bright, bright future.

The EP ‘Beast’ was released on 4 November, 2013 and is available via Tunes now. ‘Beast’ will be released on handcrafted limited edition CD (individually numbered out of 200).

Watch the video for “Blue Heart Rate” below: