The Bay Area and surrounding areas must have an endless supply of hardcore bands. It seems every week I am discovering a new band from the NorCal scene. Time for Living is the latest band to receive my undivided attention, which they first peaked with their demo. With their Rival Records debut, they are going to garner attention from a lot more people than just myself.
After releasing a promising demo in 2002 and a few lineup changes, Time for Living were ready to bring their message to all that would listen. The Cheat is Not Dead opens in typical traditional hardcore fashion as vocalist Donny Shot repeatedly shouts out "time for living." Following the brief intro, Time for Living thrust the listener into a frenzy of face-paced drumming and speeding guitars. "The Cheat is Not Dead" bears resemblance to metallic hardcore acts like Sworn Enemy and Integrity, but also features solid breakdowns and gang vocals that bring to mind With Honor. Like their peers, Time for Living carry that trademark sound that is distinguishable to the NorCal scene. While I may not be able to pinpoint what it is, I do know it means the music is good. Lyrically, Donny Shot falls in line with posi-core standards. On "King of Town" he proclaims to stay headstrong; you can't change the past, but you can continue to strive for your goals. One thing that I have noticed in listening to bands from the Norcal scene is they are big fans of sing-alongs. In fact, "Discount Brick" might contain more opportunities to sing-along than the rest of the lyrics. The remaining tracks on the album are actually re-recorded versions from their demo. While the songwriting is good, it is obvious that they have improved since the material was first recorded. The Cheat is Not Dead closes with "Could Be the Last," containing the lyrics; "Embrace this day. These days won't last forever." I call this mentality, "the philosophy of fun."
The Cheat is Not Dead picks up where predecessors Hoods and Sworn Vengeance set the standard for NorCal hardcore. Refusing to back down, Time for Living persevered and are set to bring an endless supply of sing-alongs and breakdowns to your town.
8.5 / 10
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