Welcome To The West Coast II

Written by: PP on 28/02/2018 21:14:17

California based hardcore punk band Lionheart announced their breakup in 2016 due to the difficulty of balancing jobs against full-time touring, but it wasn't long before they missed the action too much and reunited to continue their decade-long career of delivering attitude- and testosterone-driven hardcore. And that's exactly what their comeback album "Welcome To The West Coast II" is all about thematically.

From the triumphantly titled opening track "Cali Stomp" and its lyrics of "Like I said, took a little break...fought through some shit...and now it's on again. Stronger than ever, and it's still LHHC forever", to the mosh-friendly and almost melodically-infused nostalgic reminiscence of "Trial By Fire", the record deals with the band's relationship with hardcore, touring, their fan base, and everything else in between while casting two-step friendly hardcore punk anthems our way. We're still knee-deep in textbook hardcore territory, but much like Terror, Madball, First Blood, and Hatebreed before them, the approach works brilliantly as long as you inject it with a boatload of attitude and high-energy, pit-friendly song structures.

So expect breakdowns. Expect fist-pumping "HEY...HEY!" moments. Expect pissed off, angry hardcore punk encompassed within a more uplifting message about how fun and united this scene is in general. It's classic hardcore with no deviation from the genre rulebook but that's also why it works. Chunky, heavy riffage like this accompanied by the lyrical universe is like made to be played live, which is why this record will be so well received in a live environment. The only exception is the weird two-minute voice mail recording of some high dude calling them a hundred times on "Unhinged", which is completely skippable on every complete listen on the album. Fortunately, it's followed by two banger tunes in "Thirty Years" and "Treading Water", which echoes Deez Nuts in its expression.

Overall, "Welcome To The West Coast II" isn't the album that's going to convince hardcore skeptics into becoming fans of the genre. But for the already converted, it's a solid piece of hardcore that'll be a blast in a live environment.

Download: Trial By Fire, Shelter, Still Bitter Still Cold, Thirty Years
For the fans of: Terror, Madball, Hatebreed, First Blood
Listen: Facebook

Release date 10.11.2017
Fast Break Records / BDHW / Soulfood

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