No Bragging Rights

The Concrete Flower

Written by: PP on 06/11/2014 23:53:53

Talk about a band on the verge of a breakthrough in the melodic hardcore scene. No Bragging Rights' previous album "Cycles" was an incredible piece of melodic hardcore that elevated them to the forefront of the genre two years ago, and now they follow-up with yet another brilliant release in "The Concrete flower", which sees the band set themselves apart from the Comeback Kid worship found on previous album and into a realm and an identity of their own that bodes well for their future.

This is clear already on album opener "Strength Through Struggle", which features a foreshadowing introductory melody with heavy breakdowns before the Comeback Kid style screams open "Let's siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing... let's sing songs about love" arrives in what is an incredibly anthemic moment that sets the tone for the rest of the album straight away. "How can I bring hope to the hopeless when I am barely hanging on by a thread, how can i bring peace to the restless when I can't even salvage my own", asks vocalists Mike Perez in a track that is a true statement of purpose, a convincing message that No Bragging Rights are about to deliver a melodic hardcore masterpiece that surpasses what most other bands have done in the genre this year. It is going to be epic live if used as an opener, especially because of how smoothly it flows into the high-octane title-track, which demonstrates the full breadth of the No Bragging Rights variety from punishing breakdowns to anthemic clean sections with plenty of tempo changes in between.

Characteristic of the whole album is the coarse, but easily decipherable scream of Perez that allows a full understanding of the lyrics on the first listen, a trait not shared by all hardcore bands by any means. It gives the songs and their lyrics so much power, especially because they are so well written about the struggle in life and optimism on how to develop yourself personally. The throaty screams are perfectly contrasted by backing vocals far brighter and cleaner than usual in hardcore, recalling Alexisonfire's Dallas Green in the process. Still, the heavy sections in songs like "Damage / Recover" underline that this is definitely a hardcore band rather than one based on emo/post-hardcore/screamo et cetera, but it is a refreshing change to hear some forward-thinking in a genre that is often depicted as stubbornly stale in its approach to songwriting.

And in this department is where No Bragging Rights truly excel. The sheer amount of incredible songs on the record is almost overwhelming, but thankfully the band vary between the more melodic and the more testosterone-driven enough to give the album some punch in between it's sing along chorus melodies that are found on almost every track. Most importantly, while Comeback Kid is still being referenced as the primary inspiration, No Bragging Rights have developed into a fully fledged identity of their own that allows them to experiment with their soundscape fully. Perhaps "Cycles" had better songs overall (that album is a criminally underrated hardcore classic if you ask me), but "The Concrete Flower" is definitely a worthy follow-up overall.


Download: Strength Through Struggle, The Concrete Flower, Outdated, Damage / Recover
For the fans of: Comeback Kid, Alexisonfire, Counterparts, Bury Tomorrow
Listen: Facebook

Release date 23.09.2014
Pure Noise Records

Related Items | How we score?
comments powered by Disqus


© Copyright MMXX