For me, Lionheart are a pretty middle-of-the-road hardcore band; not terrible, but not particularly great either. However, I was curious to see if their new record, Love Don’t Live Here (which is crazily bionic sounding) was any good. But low and behold they continue to leave me between both extremes. Like being stuck between fire and ice, and I’m in the middle like lukewarm water (yes, I did just quote Derek Smalls).
Musically, the band is akin to Terror and Deez Nuts with huge, super tight riffs and grooves. There’s a strong hip-hop/rap flow of the vocals – and the songs overall – which is quite well done. It’s nothing new for hardcore, but it gets the job done. Yet, there is a big, dark cloud hanging over this record. When you zoom out to the bigger picture, the inconsistency of the record really shows.
Take the opening track Pain, which deals with living it rough and trying to make ends meet, and the very next song is a cringe worthy “I’m-better-than-you” tough guy track, Keep Talkin’, which is then followed by the tell-all and honest Witness, which is about conquering mental illness.
The tonal shifts are real here, folks. This pattern of serious-to-silly continues right until the very end. The album shoots back and forth between being this honest and engaging, hardcore record and this dumbed-down, adolescent affair.
These dumber songs, like Bury Me and Lock Jaw, weaken the serious and severity of the other songs quite significantly. If I was only looking at one song then hey, no sweat, but I’m not. Like Alexis Texas, I’m dealing with the whole package, and it’s just as messy.