The Golden Killer is a child of the night. Born from dreams and raised on sweaty after-hours adventures, this debut album from Toronto trio LIONESS sounds like a basement dance party, stadium-sized by its powerful roars and rhythms.
Formed in 2007 by bassist Ronnie Morris and drummer Jeff Scheven (former rhythm section for controller.controller) and vocalist Vanessa Fischer (ex-No Dynamics), LIONESS released its self-titled debut EP in 2008, followed by Omens, Oracles and Signs Volumes 1 and 2, featuring singles remixed by Pilotpriest, Mansion, vitaminsforyou, Kids On TV and others. Now, the band’s sonic voodoo is fully realized on The Golden Killer. Produced by Leon Taheny (Owen Pallett, Holy Fuck) in the midst of a summer heat wave, it’s 12 tracks that capture the Lioness sound and vision: heavy jams you can dance to, draped in mystery and magick; Daft Punk meets Black Sabbath.
“The title came from a wildlife doc I was watching, looking for trippy background visuals,” explains Scheven, (who has directed videos for the band as well TV on the Radio, Diamond Rings and Death From Above 1979) “The narrator said ‘lioness…the golden killer!’ and I thought that was cool. Also, we think it’s a pretty killer record.”
From the first single, the hypnotic, haunting ‘The Night” to the muscular pulse of “Electricity” and “Temptation” through the slow doom burn of “They Clip the Wings of Birds,” and the mournful closer “Stay Awhile” (an homage to two dearly missed friends, Devon Clifford of Vancouver’s You Say Party and Toronto art provocateur Will Munro) The Golden Killer swings between ecstatic dance and heavy rock moods, but always summoning the dark side, thanks much to the mystical nocturnal musings of Fischer.
“A lot of the lyrics are about my dreams,” says the singer. “And I really feel the most exciting things happen in the night, you can do anything, and be anything. I like the aesthetic of the darkness, the stars. I find living in the city, when there’s a clear night and you can see stars it’s really inspiring. It puts me in this place that the world is so big, you’re so small, you really get a desire to make your mark.”
LIONESS has been leaving its mark on the stage with ferocious live shows, a synthesis of electronic rock band and performance art project. Their drum and bass wall of sound is electrified further by their dramatic costume designs. While flanked by her skull biker cohorts Fischer can appear as anything from a cloaked priestess to a vamped up biker to a salacious skeleton. They’ve toured with acts as diverse as You Say Party, k-os and The Cult, and played themselves in Bruce McDonald’s rock ‘n’ roll movie Trigger.
Lioness is Vanessa Fischer (vocals), Ronnie Morris (bass), Jeff Scheven (drums).
Praise for The Golden Killer:
“Like a soundtrack to an adventurous night, Toronto trio Lioness’s latest effort, The Golden Killer, was most definitely forged in the night and is best served in the dark.” – Exclaim! April 30, 2012
“the timing is perfect, as their hometown of Toronto becomes known for shelling out dark, moody artists (think the Weeknd, Austra, Trust)” – Spinner.com, April 25, 2012
“Fischer’s bluesy-bayou wail is a testament to the band’s knack for gender bending… that voice helps conjure a nicely warped, electro-rock hybrid – something along the lines of what might happen if Daft Punk went a bit ‘devil worship.’”- The Grid, April 18, 2012
“on the grandiose Goth power ballad “They Clip the Wings of Birds,” the arrangement and the production remain all-engulfingly gigantic.” – Toronto Star, Ben Rayner’s Reasons to Live
” “Temptation” is a particularly impressive example of Lioness at their peak performance, sounding like the result of an unlikely mating of Donna Summer and Glenn Danzig.” – Torontoist, April 11, 2012
“something was giving singer Vanessa Fischer the confidence to claim her spot on the stage and bring the crowd into her world… By the time they played single, The Night, the black and white checked floor of the Horseshoe was a writhing dancefloor.” 4 Stars – Now Magazine, April 14, 2012
“The sound of the record is epic and a force of nature. Fischer’s vocals are big and almost shocking in their power. The Golden Killer isn’t the type of record that will bring out the glowsticks, but it will rock your world.” – The Agit Reader, April 24, 2012
The Golden Killer, 2012
Lioness – “The Golden Killer” teaser, Lioness Rising
Released: March 7, 2012
Lioness – The Golden Killer (NRM 3005)
Lioness – “What You Do Will Come Back To You”
Released: January 4, 2010
Lioness – Lioness (NRM 3001)
Lioness – “You’re My Heart”
Released: June 2, 2009
Lioness – Lioness (NRM 3001)