50 Lions - When Life Expires (Cover Artwork)

50 Lions

When Life Expires (2009)

Six Feet Under

There's a stereotype around the ‘Org that hardcore is only a tough-guy moshfest with the sole purpose of selling shirts with giant lettering. I try to resist the proliferation of this stereotype in my reviews and in my comments because there are great bands and labels that fly in the face of this caricature and are wholly worthy of attention.

However, try as I might, there exist bands that will do nothing but reinforce this stereotype. Like a sorority girl puking at a keg party or a crust punk not properly feeding his dog, 50 Lions' new full-length is here to reinforce every negative stereotype about hardcore that the ‘Org readership harbors. There's the overly tough vocals, mechanical breakdowns, way-too-big production, cheesy generic lyrics…and really, the list just goes on. This record does everything I find annoying about hardcore and very little that I like.

With that said, as a thorough reviewer I should point out that 50 Lions is from Australia, which is actually pretty cool. The vocalist is also the brother of Winston McCall, the vocalist of Parkway Drive--the really big Australian metalcore band on Epitaph--and who guests on this record. According to their Wikipedia page, "Throughout their short career they have toured with recognisable [sic] bands such as Rise Against, Parkway Drive, I Killed The Prom Queen, Evergreen Terrace and Comeback Kid." Furthermore, in order to say something nice, I will point out that this is a good band that plays their instruments well individually and as a cohesive unit.

In conclusion, it's funny of how thin a line it is between good hardcore and a total cheesefest. I like heavy riffs as much as the next guy, but when it crosses over into this generic tough-guy territory with riffs and lyrics I've heard a million times before, I can't run away fast enough.