Sunday, March 5, 2017

EP Review: NO CONTEST “album name” (Independent) by Dave Wolff

Another rewarding return trip to the days of All Out War, Confusion, Integrity and the time when thrashcore was relatively new and its rulebook was a series of blank pages waiting to be filled. Few bands approach the potency Pro Pain accumulate on record but the five songs New York’s No Contest offer in the eleven or twelve minutes of their debut recording oscillate with forceful vigor that only grows more potent with time. The band is still in their earliest stages and their energy is already substantial and well-grounded. As the start of this EP the band transit back and forth between crunch and power chords; then they head into a slower crunch with similar transitions and escalate the intensity to agonizing levels, goading an unseen audience to join a pit before an unseen stage. This is a brief description of Government Eyes your initial taste of No Contest’s capabilities. While no lyrics are included in the CD package, I gathered the song rails against the post-9/11 sociopolitical atmosphere that has been part of American life since the Bush administration, citing the Patriot Act as license to pry into our personal lives. From the lyrics alone Government Eyes is my second favorite of these songs. The bar is raised on Visions and Dirty Insult which bind and cement their crossover technique, at times reminding me of Cro Mags and Discharge while including more compelling breakdowns. There’s a refrain in Vow citing some Black Sabbath influence that works as well as the other sections mentioned above. At The Mirror is the best song here, with lyrics directed at the judgmental among us who look down on others without realizing they lower themselves in the process. What I appreciated about these tracks was none of the riffs overstay their welcome and the lyrics don’t preach their message for the sake of appearance. -Dave Wolff

Track list:
1. Government Eyes
2. Visions
3. Dirty Insult
4. Vow
5. At The Mirror

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