Force of Nature
Jim Peterik, one half of Pride of Lions, can undeniably be called a force of nature. The guy has never been out of work since he started in this game 50 years ago. From his first band The Ides of March he’s been releasing regularly since 1970.
He followed that up with huge success in Survivor where he penned the mega-hits “Eye of the Tiger” and “Burning Heart”.
From then on he moved onto Pride of Lions which has been a going concern since 2003, releasing eight albums in that time. Overlapping with Lions were his jazz albums with numerous guest artists under the guise of Life Force.
In between times he has also collaborated with a multitude of artists including .38 Special, Brain Wilson and old mate Jimi Jamison.
Like I said, a force of nature.
Teamwork is dreamwork
Joining him on vocals is the inimitable Toby Hitchcock who’s pipes are the perfect vehicle on which to deliver top class, toe-tapping, singalong AOR of the highest order.
The latest entry in the Peterik canon, Lion Heart, continues his uncanny knack of producing catchy tunes with big choruses and melodies most writers would give their eye teeth for.
Whilst hogging the bill on the album cover, Peterik and Hitchcock have a class band behind them. There’s Eddie Breckenfeld on drums, Klem Hayes on bass, Mike Aquino on guitar and Christian Cullen on keyboards all coming together to give life to Jim’s creations.
From the opening riffs of the title track, you know you’re onto a winner all the way. I can almost see Hitchcock clenching his fist when singing the words “Lion heart”. I know I was.
From then on there’s no looking back as we’re hit with 12 tracks with no filler in sight. If its earworms you’re after there are plenty here to get inside your head, none more so than “Heart of the Warrior”. This is closely followed by “Good Thing Gone” in not being able to get it out of your head.
It’s not all about killer melodies and earworms though, it’s the passion in every song, line and note that also stands out. Peterik is a good storyteller too, as “Rock and Roll Boom Town” and “We Play For Free” will testify.
There are the odd moments which feel a bit Survivor-lite but that’s easily understood for obvious reasons, and it’s hardly a criticism.
Pride of Lions have produced a gem here, one which has been on constant rotation for a week. It’s out now on Frontiers Music so do the decent thing.
It’s the time of year when the discussions at CGCM Towers center around albums of the year. Lion Heart is right up there, no doubt.