Canadian Dance-Indie group Lioness has produced a dark, dynamic, and dirty record brimming with heavy bass, reverberant 80s-influenced drums and a stunning vocal performance delivered by Vanessa Fischer. The Golden Killer is unmistakably a dance-infused record, but showcases the group’s shady side in the process.
The Golden Killer features no guitars, instead focusing on synthesized harmonies to accompany vocalist Vanessa Fischer’s moody singing. Surprisingly aggressive drums and bass for the indie genre back the record. The first few songs give the record an energetic pace, which regrettably begins to stagnate. Diversity is found in the album’s sixth and longest track, “They Clip the Wings of Birds”. Pummelling bass lines pick up with Vanessa’s high-pitched wails past the third minute mark. The track shows Lioness in an emotionally revealing light: as dark, brooding and mystical. The song, reaching over five and a half minutes, is positioned perfectly to give the dance-inculcated album a break.
The rest of the album follows as the first half did. Electricity shows Lioness at their danciest – “You always take my breath away, can you feel it?” is sung in a commanding performance by Fischer. Lioness excels at twisting dance beats into heavy, dirty indie songs.
The album falters in repetitiveness. Perhaps The Golden Killer was never intended for drawn out, single listens. It serves better in short, energetic doses. The Golden Killer’s blend of heavy dance-rock is certainly not easily accessible to a lone listener at home. Undoubtedly, the appropriate environment would serve to invite and attract the listener. Lioness has crafted an album of opposites – ominous dance tracks, eerie vocals singing pop-influenced lyrics and an established full sound without standard instrumentation. The Golden Killer may take repeated spins, but rewards the listener with an atypical take on dance music.