Published May 19, 2011Vancouver, BC pop punks Living with Lions have been aiming for shock factor with their latest LP, Holy Shit. The group previously announced the album's title and release date by getting tattoos across their butts. Now, they've come under fire for their use of Christian imagery in the artwork.
As the Vancouver Sun points out, the group's religious imagery has attracted the attention of the U.S. media and even Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore. These critics have taken exception to the album artwork (see above), which is designed to look like a Bible. The lyrics are laid out like Bible verses and named "The Poo Testament." It reportedly parodies Christ's resurrection with Jesus portrayed as -- you guessed it -- a piece of poo. Holy Shit indeed.
Unsurprisingly, many have been offended by the packaging. The real source of contention is the fact that the album was partially funded by government grants, a fact that is acknowledged in the controversial liner notes. The band's label, Black Box, reportedly received a $13,248 loan from the Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent on Recordings (FACTOR).
A spokesman for the heritage minister said, "The content of this CD is offensive and the fact that it is clearly designed to offend a group of Canadians based on their faith is simply wrong. The minister has called Duncan McKie, president and CEO of FACTOR, to express his profound disappointment with this content."
Black Box boss Ian Stanger responded, telling the Vancouver Sun, "I'd like it to be well understood that the lyrical content on this record makes no reference to any religious themes whatsoever."
He added, "I don't think it's meant to be a serious criticism or commentary on religion. It's a joke."
This controversy is bound to give Living with Lions an added boost of publicity. It may not do any favours to future artists seeking government funding, however.