Kids these days. So apathetic. So content with being fed watered-down rock without message or meaning. Enter the brothers Berlin. Tunes from The Living Things’ debut, Ahead Of The Lions, released this Tuesday (10/4) via Jive records, have been floating around for a while, but the political anger and pointedly scathing lyrics pack as much punch today as they did when they were written. Front man and lyricist Lillian Berlin is pissed off and ready to take action the best way he knows how, by putting out some of the most straight-ahead and fierce rock songs of the year. Opening track “Bombs Below” was also the kick off on the Resight Your Rights EP released in 2003 and the message is unfortunately as relevant today as it was two years ago, “where do all the deadboys go go go go, no solutions just bombs below.” The next two tracks are just as acidic. On “I Owe,” with the title chanted after every verse line like some sort of Ramones-esque “Hey Ho!” call, Lillian sings, “It’s not my generation that owes…and they don’t know right from wrong, but they’ll bring you all along.” The sexy, incredibly catchy single, “Bom Bom Bom,” which may on the surface come off as a slinking swaggering rock song, oozes out the words, “I said hey, hey, hey this is our birth right/ To be bought and sold shipped off ready to die.”
The strength of Ahead Of The Lions, what makes you hit play as soon as the record's fuzzy head bobber of a closer “I Wish the Best For You,” is finished is that Lillian, along with brothers Eve on bass and Bosh on drums with friend Cory Becker on guitar, have created intensely memorable rock songs, cleverly catchy lyrics, propulsive drumming and whistleable guitar and bass riffs. It’s hard to ignore a message when you find yourself singing it under your breath all day. I caught myself standing at the copy machine yesterday chanting “Don’t believe, don’t believe, don’t believe in police,” from the track “On All Fours.” Ahead Of The Lions is loud, rude, offensive, dirty, angry and sexy. But isn’t it about time something was?