LIONHEART – WELCOME TO THE WEST COAST II
About a year ago, a largely known California hardcore band, Lionheart, announced that they would be parting ways as a band, and would not continue to make music. For those people who groove to hardcore music, you most likely have at least heard of this band. They emerged in 2007 as a hardcore outfit, and since have released 5 studio albums, one of which being Love Don’t Live Here, which made it all the way to #2 on the Itunes metal charts. With this impressive of a repertoire, it didn’t make much sense for this band to break up, and soon after the split they realized this.
The band recently announced their reformation by posting a music video for a song off of their new album, “Trial By Fire”, which in the short time it’s been released, has racked up 55k listens on YouTube, and 35k on Spotify, even before the release of the album. Impressive for a hardcore band huh? Well in addition to that, their new album, Welcome To The West Coast II is a spiritual and literal continuation of the first album of the same name (without the roman numerals of course) constituting a small treat for long time fans!
My opening review statement is simply this. Groove. Do you like groove? Do you like angry, pissed off music?’ Because Welcome To The West Coast II is just that, groovy and pissed off, and that’s what makes it so awesome. There’s no smoke and mirrors here, and what I mean by that is that it isn’t overproduced. This is such a good example of the quintessential hardcore album, in the way that the band writes some groovy-ass, heavy tracks, and stay true to the sound they seem to want to emulate. I enjoyed this album from front to back surely, but a couple songs stuck out to me. The first one that comes to mind is the track “Unhinged”, which is literally just a series of phone messages left for who one can only assume would be the vocalist of the band. Whoever is listening though, seems to go through a series of messages sent by a possibly inebriated friend, and deleting them one by one without answer. There’s not much to read into here, but for those who like to dig a little deeper into your favorite bands, maybe this has some kind of significance to the band or the album? Moving on, one song I can comment about the quality of is one of the singles they released from the album, “Still Bitter Still Cold”, which in addition to being groovy as hell, is honestly pretty deep. Telling a story of a lover being left by their significant other, the lyrics really stuck with me after I heard it – “Still bitter still cold, still using mud to fill the cracks in my soul, and I know there’s no hope, can you hear the thunder roll”.
Now I’m not here to do an analytical breakdown, but if you’re a fan of music without the gimmicks, that is straight to the point and meaningful, Welcome To The West Coast II is an album you need to check out. It’s a grace to the hardcore community that these guys decided to double back and team up again, and I doubt this album would disappoint anyone looking for that Hatebreed-esque sound that’s a little hard to find in a lot of mainstream bands nowadays (which doesn’t bother me, I prefer heavier hardcore and beatdown music), yet this band definitely did it right. This album released on November 10th, so don’t forget to give this album a listen and see if you like it!
Bloodrock Rating: 4.6 out of 5.0 axes
FFO: Hatebreed, Terror, Madball, Blood For Blood
Still Bitter Still Cold
Trial by Fire
Rob Watson – Vocals
Evan Krejci – Guitar
Rob McCarthy – Guitar
Chad Hall – Bass
Jay Scott – Drums
Written by Ethan Grason of Bloodrock Media on December 6, 2017