Title: Teeth Of A Lion, Fangs Of A Lioness
Release Date: 2010
Review By: Scott L
Ahhh… the sun is slowly returning to the frozen northland where I live. Blue skies, sunshine, and a whopping 45 degrees the other day. What does all this have to do with my review you ask. Absolutely nothing. I’m just sitting here in my office, basking in the light streaming in through the windows and wanted to share the experience. And if you live in a place of perpetual sunshine and fair weather… I don’t wanna hear it.
Willet is a 4-piece out of Westminster, Maryland that plays a very focused style of modern rock. Their sound is along the lines of Alive Inside, Fear Blind, and Sixty Miles Down. And I say focused, because these guys very rarely deviate from their pattern on this CD. Although what they offer is typically pretty solid and includes a noticeable new edginess to some songs… there are also a couple of tracks that seem content to toe the line. These tracks, such as “The Question”, come off as mediocre at best. There were times on the album where I felt like I’d just dove off the high dive into the shallow end of the pool. Cool riff, but no real substance to the song. And maybe this stood out so glaringly because the rest of the songs on the CD were so smartly crafted and often very thought-provoking. Anyway, minor grievances aside, this is still a very enjoyable and easily accessible release.
Lyrically, Willet shoots pretty straight. The messages are for the most part spiritually concise and feel very genuine. Even the song “Repent”, which comes off with an almost sing-along, old-time pub tune vibe… which is hilarious considering the nature of the song. Ignoring the current trend of ridiculously long song names, every one of the 10 tracks on “Teeth Of A Lion, Fangs Of A Lioness” has a one-word name. And for the most part, they each contain a very deliberate message of hope and grace and love for God. Consider the song “Shelter” which says, “there is shelter underneath your wing / a fortress won’t be shaken / there is refuge in the tower that is higher then I / and I try to do justice / and to love mercy / I want to walk humbly with my God / hope will keep you warm – a little longer / faith won’t leave you cold – makes you stronger / love will find you / love will find you / the broken road can seem so low / but there’s a hand to hold that never lets go / when hope replaces tears in our eyes / we see God, glorified”. Or how about the song “Machine”, which is anything but mechanical… “the secret is out / it’s time to come clean / the secret is out / it’s a broken machine / the face in the mask is a tragedy / the secret is out / it’s a broken machine / when the lights are turned down / they will follow you / follow you / when the curtains are closed / they will follow you / follow you / the line has been drawn / there’s no turning back / the line has been drawn / it’s a secret attack / don’t dance with the monster if you have the chance / the line has been drawn / it’s a secret attack / there’s a lock on the front door and way out the back / I think I’ll stare at the monster till the monster attacks”.
“Thirsty” was my standout track for the album. I particularly liked the big finish. Just a great all around song. The CD’s opening track “Island” was a close second.
Overall: Willet doesn’t throw in any real surprises, but dies deliver another solid release. The extra touch of edginess here and there lends itself to a great rock sound. The new edge accompanied by an obvious heart to do something for God makes for a powerful combination. And if you know much about this band, you know that they’re not just blowing smoke… they actually walk the talk.