Album review: No Bragging Rights – No Bragging Rights

Missing-in-action melodic hardcore crew No Bragging Rights make a pleasantly slamming return...

Album review: No Bragging Rights – No Bragging Rights
Paul Travers

‘Strength always finds a way,’ roars No Bragging Rights vocalist Mike Perez as Strength’s Perspective slams towards its conclusion. It’s been a while – the band have been on hiatus since 2015, when they were involved in a serious van flip on a snow-covered road – but now the Californian punks are back and they do indeed sound stronger than ever.

If you were a fan the first time round, this seven-track reintroduction will hold no real surprises. It’s a familiar mix of hardcore momentum, slab-heavy breakdowns and ear-arresting melodies, but it’s all delivered with enough passion and energy to sound fresh and exciting. Almost every song boasts one of those seismic breakdowns, but the band mix things up a little, too. Walking Blind brings in prominent hooks and some churning, almost Finch-like riffs before the raging Breaking Point picks up the pace and really opens up the theoretical pit.

Lyrically, the band go a bit deeper than just the strength-through-unity hardcore cliches, although they can whip up a fine line in well-worn gang-chant holler-a-longs when the mood takes them. Mike was in the final year of studying to become a social worker when they wrote this EP and it’s certainly a set with issues to work through. The aforementioned Walking Blind deals with addiction while Breaking Point circles around abusive relationships. The vocals suit the emotional heft just right, veering from a gnarly hardcore bark to the sort of strained, edge-of-a-breakdown delivery.

It’s nothing startlingly original but this is music with heart, muscle and brains and ushers in a welcome return from No Bragging Rights.

Verdict: 3/5

For Fans Of: Counterparts, It Prevails, To The Wind

No Bragging Rights is out now via Pure Noise.

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