Released: 2004, Frontiers Records
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
Jim Peterik and Toby Hitchcock are Pride of Lions, Jim is known for being the founder of The Ideas of March which landed a number one position on the charts in 1970 with the track “Vehicle”. He moved on and started Survivor, one of the most influential bands in rock. Jim wrote many of the songs in Survivor like “High On You,” “I Can’t Hold Back,” “The Search Is Over” and of course the multi-platinum Grammy winning theme from the movie Rocky III, “Eye of The Tiger”. Together with Sammy Hagar he wrote the theme to the sci-fi animation feature HEAVY METAL. He has also written songs for Aerosmith, Cheap Trick, Kevin Chalfant, Uriah Heep and REO Speedwagon, to mention a few.
Jim has this to say about Pride of Lions “ (PoL)…is my vision of the best elements of the great melodic rock era of the 80’s, updated of course with modern production sounds”.
Jim’s partner in crime is the young Toby Hitchcock who’s a relative newcomer to the rock scene. At age 26 he has made an incredible mark as a singers’ singer.
Just as on the debut, they have used the same production team in Jim and Larry Millas (Billy Idol, Survivor). Toby has this to say about the fact that they once again have used the same team “If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it!” Jim and Larry have done a standard production and it sounds just what we can expect when it comes to this kind of music. The music and production sounds big and epic with lead vocals on top of the mix and both Jim and Toby have the chance to show what they can do. I think that Jim is totally wrong when he says that they have an updated sound picture. I think it sounds a lot like 80’s very melodic hardrock, as the music isn’t guitar based at all and relies heavily on keyboards.
The music is listed as melodic rock which I totally agree with. You can draw parallels with Pride of Lions and early Journey and Foreigner. Jim isn’t only in charge of lead vocals, he also takes care of the songwriting, guitar and keyboard. I think that Jim has written the music and lyrics on this album too but I’m not sure, however this album includes 12 tracks and Tobys favorite one is “Falling Back To Then” according to the bio.
I don’t have any lyrics to the songs but you just have to take a brief glance at the titles then you already know what the lyrics are about, and again I have to say that there has to be something else to write about than love.
The better songs on the album are “The Courage To Love Somebody,” “Born To Believe In You,” “Letter To The Future” and “Falling back To Then”. These songs are the “faster” ones, while the other songs lean more into Foreigner and the Journey spirit.
Personally this is too melodic for my taste but if you’re into this genre I’m sure you’ll like it. Both Toby and Jim have amazing voices and Jim is a very good lyric and music composer. Even the cover looks pretty nice (keep in mind that it’s Frontiers we are talking about and I usually don’t think they put nice covers on their albums).
Jim and Toby are planning to take Pride of Lions over to Europé and Toby says “It’s time to show the world what we’ve been proving in the states for over a year. We are ready to rock”.