Melodic hardcore’s inherent ability to make us feel and think has seen a sizable swell in popularity of late; our disaffected youth finding solace in a genre whose foundation is built on an all embracing unity and kinship. Californian quintet No Bragging Rights seem to contain all the necessary ingredients for that underground, basement show aesthetic, with full-length number five ‘The Concrete Flower’ all scream along drama and cathartic stomp.
It’s certainly nothing you haven’t already heard before, these tracks rattling along on a dense canvas of traditional hardcore bite and end-of-their-rope emotionality, yet the smattering of highlights quickly manage to lift the record well shy of lackluster. The sledgehammer violence of ‘Attention’ is particularly bracing (just check out that “Now die in silence” refrain), and indeed a rare occurrence where the band’s conventional aggression outshines their keen melodic sensibilities here.
The towering clean hooks replete in ‘Outdated’ and Titanic album closer ‘Damage/Recover’ tug on the heart strings without the need for any overwrought cornball sap, evidently coming from a place where sincerity is king and unit shifting polish remains unthought of. It’s all so infectiously earnest that we quickly find ourselves wrapped up in the hoopla, even despite the songs’ somewhat vanilla template, and for all its structural familiarity, ‘The Concrete Flower’ still manages to be one the most emotionally arresting releases of the year.
Written by Tony Bliss (@TBliss88)