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CD Review: Liferuiner – No Saints

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liferuiner nosaintsStraightedge metallic hardcore punk brimming with breakdowns – who needs more of this stuff? Turns out that a well-done X-fest is surprisingly refreshing in this age of increasingly prefixed and suffixed -core. Liferuiner won't replace Youth of Today in your CD rack, but No Saints is a fine debut for this Ontario band.

The key here is breakdowns – so many, in fact, that the songs are just excuses to have them. Tunes start with them, end with them, and, um, break down to them. This risks overkill, as breakdowns are most effective when they're actually acting as such, i.e., interruptions to a song's main groove. All bands should be prohibited from using breakdowns until they've studied Pantera's Far Beyond Driven from front to back.

However, Liferuiner has seemingly mastered all the different flavors of breakdowns – the syncopated foot-dragger, the slow machine-gunner, the basic chugger, and so on. The intro breakdown to "If Being Fake Was an Olympic Sport" is so pile-driving that the song's actual riff pales in comparison. Occasional dissonance and some cheeky movie samples help give this karate chop-a-thon much-needed variety.

The production is heavy, the vocals are fierce, and the gang vocals are almost comically epic. Ironically, the only thing holding this album back is its ironbound conviction. No Saints is about being straightedge and dissing those who aren't – that's it. This lyrical approach is one-dimensional, unnecessarily hostile, and risks hypocrisy when a member inevitably breaks edge. Future bar tabs aside, though, the album is a strong statement for the sXe cause.


Liferuiner on MySpace
Tribunal Records

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