Album review

The Business : Hardcore Hooligan
Burning Heart Records

AFI : Sing The SorrowSo what happens when a crusty ol' hardcore veteran punk group gets tired of railing on about society's ills and political pinpricks? Write an entire album about . . . football. Or that would be 'soccer' to those of us on the North American continent.

Hardcore Hooligan finds The Business in fine form as they document their favourite 'football as family' pastime, from pub crawls to penalty kicks for one of their most emotive albums in years. While Hardcore Hooligan boasts a feel-good, shout-it-out anthemic quality in its 12 tracks, there's an intensity channeled within the lyrical coarseness that's equal parts satisfaction - Saturday's Heroes, England 5, Germany 1 - and sour grapes - Maradona, Handball - befitting of our patriotic protagonists with the piss drunk presentation. Instantaneous sing-alongs, one and all, particularly on the sharp opening stomp of Hardcore Hooligan, the vehement lament of Southgate, and the self-gratifying Guinness Boys that first appeared on No Mercy For You.
    The 'boys' break out the vintage collection only a fraction of the time, railing off against the middle class on 3 Lions and various groups of dissidents - of which they've encountered many in their 25 year uproar - in the closing No One Likes Us.

Hardcore Hooligan is an album about football from the fervent fan's perspective for sure, but further, it's a call for unity - as are most of the songs of theirs and their working class brethren - that's strung together by Saturday night screamfests for the love of their sport and chosen spirits.

:: Vinnie Apicella

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