Love Don't Live Here


California's LIONHEART, might be one of the better Hardcore bands you've never heard of. Having […]
By Tim Bolitho-Jones
January 17, 2016
Lionheart - Love Don't Live Here album cover

California's LIONHEART, might be one of the better Hardcore bands you've never heard of. Having been around since 2004, they've already released three full-length albums and built a dedicated fan base from the ground up, but if your knowledge of Hardcore begins with SICK OF IT ALL and ends with HATEBREED, chances are you clicked on this review thinking the 1980s British band of the same name, had reformed.

Well don't run off just yet because, if you like JAMEY JASTA's brand of macho optimism, there's a good chance you'll dig LIONHEART too. There's nothing particularly complex about these eleven tracks and all follow, more or less, the same pattern. Singer Rob Watson manages to make even the darkest confession into a defiant call to arms, and there's a passion here that's easy to get caught up in. It's full of breakdowns, gang chants and the lyrics tend to revolve around struggling to survive in an uncaring world, so yes, it's been done before, but it's still invigorating enough to make you want to put on a vest with a knuckle-duster printed on and sign up for an MMA tournament.

Shame then that they've decided to put the only weak track right at the beginning. On a purely musical level, "Keep Talkin'" does no wrong; the riffs are gung-ho and there's a stomping enthusiasm to it all, but the lyrics are dreadful. It's a song that raises a middle finger to all their naysayers but does so in a childishly belligerent way. If your introduction to LIONHEART comes from catching the video for this one on YouTube, it'd be all too easy to think they were a bunch of abrasive meatheads with nothing to offer except calls to suck them off and get fucked.

Thankfully, while "Keep Talkin'" is an awful misstep, it's the only one to be found. The remaining ten tracks are all pit-inducing anthems of social injustice and self-doubt, played with the sort of grimy authenticity that you only get from living through shit and coming out the other side only marginally better. "Pain" is an instant fist-swinger that calls out to anyone who works full time and still struggles to pay the bills. "Bury Me" is a come-and-get-it fight song and "Witness" is a stark depiction of juggling prescriptions to fight depression. Best of the bunch though, is the awesome title track; a cathartic burst of raw anger that covers familiar ground but still manages to get the blood pumping.

One brief guitar solo on "Lock Jaw" aside, there's also no surprises to be found. LIONHEART aren't creating a brave new world for Hardcore but they clearly love what they do and the sheer energy keeps the adrenaline surging through every note. If you've already worn out the last HATEBREED album and want something new to bench press to, give these guys a shot. The running time is a bit short though so be prepared to shell out for last year's excellent, "Welcome To The West Coast" EP as well, otherwise you'll barely have finished the pre-workout stretches before the last song finishes.<

8 / 10


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"Love Don't Live Here" Track-listing:

1. Keep Talkin'
2. Witness
3. Bury Me
4. Love Don't Live Here
5. Rewind
6. Still
7. New Enemies
8. Lockjaw
9. Dead Wrong
10. Going Back To The Bay

Lionheart Lineup:

Rob - Vocals
Nick - Guitar
Brandon - Bass
Jay - Drums
Cam - Guitar

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