Be Honest EP
Nearly five years have passed since No Trigger dropped the excellent Canyoneer, and it's safe to say that the melodic-hardcore landscape has been dramatically changed in their absence. Sure, most of the mainstays of the genre are still going strong (A Wilhelm Scream, Strike Anywhere, Strung Out) while one group have entered the mainstream stratosphere, seemingly for good (Rise Against). However, while other niches like pop-punk and metalcore have experienced a huge comeback in recent years, one would have to go back to the mid-2000s to find the last time a wave of young, hungry melodic-hardcore acts made an impression on the scene.
There's no need to get too wistful, however, because despite its brevity, No Trigger's latest 7-inch Be Honest shines like a beacon of hope for a scene mostly gone, but hardly forgotten. With a full-length on the horizon for 2011, it appears the band have taken the task of resurrection squarely upon their shoulders.
The band waste little time reminding everyone of their versatile sonic assault; "Commonwealth" is an 82-second romp that balances speed, aggression and melody in a way that would make the members of Lifetime beam with pride. When it comes to sheer ability, vocalist Tom Rheault hasn't lost a step; if anything, his cleaner, more melodic approach is an improvement over the Thomas Barnett-aping thoaty yell that dominated Canyoneer.
On the flipside, "Tooth" is a far more expansive (but no less enthusiastic) track, its effectiveness mostly due to the impressive drum fills of Mike Ciprari and the melodic leads crafted by guitarists Jon Strader and Mike Pryzgoda. Rheault's lyrics seem to offer a sense of confident encouragement, and when he sings, "Small steps, right directions/Heads high, no distractions/It's a metaphor, keep breathing/Patterns die if you crush the meaning," it's hard not to relate. Welcome back, boys.
Mightier Than Sword http://www.mtsrecords.com