Album review: Lionheart – Welcome To The West Coast III

Third chapter of California hardcore bruisers Lionheart’s trilogy aims to give your ears a black eye…

Album review: Lionheart – Welcome To The West Coast III
Nick Ruskell

In the spirit of going hard or going home, Lionheart sound like they've intentionally locked themselves out of the house. There is nothing on Welcome To The West Coast III that isn't sweating with anger and aggro energy. 'I got this pain in my stomach from chasing demons I never confronted,' rages frontman Rob Watson on New Money Old Pain. You almost feel sorry for the demons when he finally goes to sort them out.

The third instalment of the California hardcore titans' Welcome To The West Coast trilogy is a welcome about as warm as opening the door to a punch in the nose. 'California against everybody, motherfucker,' they proudly yell on At War With The Gods, as if by the time you've got to it, track nine, you still weren't getting it. This is hardcore, heavy as you like, with anger to spare and an apparently endless ability to chug and stomp.

Though Lionheart sound as if they've never got tired in their lives and there's no danger of that happening anytime soon, they've got some mates on board to help with the hate. So, among others, there's Hatebreed's Jamey Jasta doing a double shift on Death Comes In 3's and Deathbed Confession, Alex Taylor from Malevolence barking his head off on album closer Exit Wounds, and Ice motherfuckin' T bringing the violence to the subtly-named Live By The Gun.

There's no changing of hardcore's spots here, but that's secondary to quite how much Lionheart really mean it. And if this music's meant to be just as much about the fist and the physical as it is its message (here, roughly speaking: the world's full of people who need a smack; also, think positive), they've done their job splendidly here. For once the third part of a trilogy isn't the worst.

Verdict: 3/5

For fans of: Hatebreed, Madball, Stray From The Path

Welcome To The West Coast III is out now via Arising Empire

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