Monday, September 22, 2014

Album Review: 'The Concrete Flower' by No Bragging Rights

>> No Bragging Rights have perfected their pit-friendly sound since forming in 1999, and The Concrete Flower is proof of this. It brings a basic melodic hardcore sound that can be heard on the band's previous releases. If you came to find a band testing their limits in different musical sounds then you came to the wrong place. However, if you are looking for an album with chunky riffs mixed with emotion-evoking melodies, as well at lyrics about hope and perseverance, then look no further!

For fans of: Stick to your Guns, Vanna, The Ghost Inside

>> As I mentioned, this album does not push the limits musically, but to be honest I wasn't expecting that. What I was expecting was to be moved by the lyrical content, and this is where The Concrete Flower flourishes. The vocalist, Mike Perez, wears his heart on his sleeve and belts lyrics of strength through struggle, perseverance, empowerment, and bringing light to the subject of suicide. Some might find this to be cliche, but hardcore has always been about portraying pure emotion and sharing it with the crazy kids in the pit. 

>> The title track is catchy and fast paced. It could be one of my favorite songs on this release, although I did find the clean vocals unattractive due to an almost auto tuned sound at some points. 'Right Minded' is one of the heaviest songs off of The Concrete Flower and is worth listening if you need a reminder as to why you love mosh-inducing music. You can check out this song below.

>> 'Attention' is another song that needs mentioning; it was one of the first songs I got into lyrically. The song is a "thank you" to those in the armed forces, but more importantly, it is an actual call to attention to help those struggling after serving. Many men and women come home with injuries and mental issues after fighting wars that not everyone agrees with. Perez screams out "Thanks for your service, now die in silence," because he feels the system is shunning those who keep us safe. 

>> So, is The Concrete Flower pushing the limits of modern hardcore? In my opinion, no. It is, however, a well-crafted album that any alternative or heavy music fan can enjoy, with thought provoking lyrical content that makes the listener think about their own life. If you are looking for melodic but heavy sound from  a band with several years under their belt then look no further than NBR's The Concrete Flower. You can pick this album up on September 23rd at your local record store, online, or on iTunes.

>> You can catch No Bragging Rights with Senses Fail on the Let It Enfold You 10 Year Anniversary Tour, also featuring Knuckle Puck and To The Wind, until the beginning of October. The band will then venture over the Atlantic with the same package.

- Zach Zima

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