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No Roses - Hell or High Water (Cover Artwork)

No Roses

No Roses: Hell or High WaterHell or High Water (2005)
State of Mind Recordings

Reviewer Rating: 4


Contributed by: InaGreendaseBrian
(others by this writer | submit your own)

In case you haven't noticed, hardcore punk is making a bit of a resurgence this year. In 2005 we've seen a groundswelling of previews of great things to come. Chalk up Philadelphia's No Roses as the latest to join this ever-growing list. While something like a more melodic Hope Conspiracy might .
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In case you haven't noticed, hardcore punk is making a bit of a resurgence this year. In 2005 we've seen a groundswelling of previews of great things to come. Chalk up Philadelphia's No Roses as the latest to join this ever-growing list.

While something like a more melodic Hope Conspiracy might come to mind, it's abundantly clear the band has been studying up on all the emotional, more experimental moments of Give Up the Ghost's We're Down 'Til We're Underground. It's clearly the biggest influence running through this record (shit, the last two seconds of closer "Fete de la Victoire" is a dead ripoff of the same to "Love American"), but pretty nice all the same to see that someone else is trying to expand upon the genius subtleties of that record. Either way, it's great hardcore punk in that vein with a consistent theme of destructive (sub)urban imagery running through its all-too-short timespan of just under 9 minutes. Lines like "we're dropping bombs on this fucking block," "this city should have crumbled around me years ago," and "shoot down the satellites / crash all the power lines" adorn the band's songwriting left and right. Other similarities that may come to mind are Paint It Black, as the band carries on with a fierce and unrelenting yet melodic intensity with plenty of well-executed stop-starts throughout to mix things up. Vocalist Jon Hunt barely gives himself a chance to breathe, spouting out his words so quickly they often seem to overlap each other.

Standout "Snapshots" proves you can creatively address relationship turmoil and make it sound more sincere and endearing than the seventy-thousand bands currently making up a genre because of said lyrical content. There's an excellent, emotional pause by the guitarists in the early goings before they quickly launch back into the song with Hunt confiding in his audience singing "it's safe / to say we nearly lost ourselves / it's safe / to say we nearly lost it all." The resounding buildup of "Hell or High Water" culminates in the band's appropriate usage of gang vocals, a climax here reached with the fierce, broke loose yells of "NO! ONE!" ("the song we sing / means everything").

Hell or High Water is, albeit notably short, an outstanding effort. It definitely shows a band willing to mix things up a bit in an otherwise stagnant style, and it's only the beginning of what I'm sure is many exciting things to come.

MP3
Hell or High Water

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
GreenVandal (November 25, 2005)

Exactly. It all sounds like Good Riddance and Kid Dynamite to me anyway so whatever...

SilentStorms (November 25, 2005)

This sounds way too generic. Is it just me or does this sound a lot like Strike Anywhere? Not bad, just not too good.

GreenVandal (November 22, 2005)

I'm so sick of melodic hardcore. A little bit of experimentation of perhaps CREATIVITY would have been welcome on this release. This shit has been done to death.

Anonymous (November 22, 2005)

Best hardcore EP this year.

etwiels88 (November 22, 2005)

Fuck, I've been looking for this cd for like weeks. So good.

givemeamuseumandillfillit (November 22, 2005)

This cd is basically a follow-up to We're down 'til we're underground, which means it's in my top 5, easily.

Anonymous (November 22, 2005)

"it's abundantly clear the band has been studying up on all the emotional, more experimental moments of Give Up the Ghost's We're Down 'Til We're Underground."

I'm intrigued...

Anonymous (November 22, 2005)

Melodic Hope Conspiracy and Paint It Black?

I have noooo idea what this sounds like.

-Will

lookmommyididit (November 22, 2005)

i was about to buy this at the state of mind distro last week, now i kind of regret it

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