A year after Tom Chasteen from L.A.'s Dub Club remixed eight Lions tracks into the deep, dank, and delicious LP This Generation in Dub, West Coast reggae sound system the Lions returned with an album that's just as solid and twice as "up." Soul Riot is quite a joyful noise where horns are bright, beats are generally uptempo, and all the singers and players step lively, but don't take any of this as sugary, because the weight of the world still hangs heavy on this crew. "Going Nowhere" with vocalist Alex Desert is arguably the best example as it empowers with positive lyrics while posing the "are we moving forward, or going backwards?" question throughout, while "When It Rains" with Malik Moore and Black Shakespeare spits grievances and gripes directed at the oppressors, and yet it successfully lifts the spirit, bringing the album's title to life. Love plays a heavier role than usual as "(Will You Be) My Girl?" plays it so sweet and slow while "Feels Good" kicks it fast and sexy, and although there's plenty of flat-out fun scattered about, it's Clash fans who will absolutely gush over the spirited cover of the band's rap-reggae single "The Magnificent Dance." Optimistic revolutionaries, freedom fighters who like to dance, and reggae fans of all persuasions would do well to join this Soul Riot, since the Lions just seem to keep growing in power.
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AllMusic Review by David Jeffries