No Idea - Break Through (Cover Artwork)

No Idea

Break Through (2018)

undertone records

Long Island’s No Idea just released their debut EP on Undertone Records. The four-song effort, Break Through, offers the listener music that brims with the typical elements of the hardcore genre. It’s angry. It’s fast. It’s heavy. But there are also some features in No Idea’s music that set them apart from their peers in the genre. The EP is short, but it packs a punch that it gives those who like a little dynamism in their hardcore something to grab onto.

The first song, “Days Run Black,” opens with a simple but clever choppy guitar riff that segues into an octave-laden verse that brings the band’s dynamic sound into focus. The song closes with a driving breakdown that draws on the opening choppiness of the guitars without being too derivative. Vocally, the song introduces the listener to a style that is angry but without being indecipherable. The vocals are really impressive in that regard as the recording suggests a restraint that keeps the lyrical delivery pretty clear without losing that anger so necessary to hardcore vocals.

The strongest sound on Break Through is the closer, “Straitjacket.” While it opens with a traditional horse-hopping riff, it’s the second half of the song that makes it so strong. The drums and bass drop out, leaving a metallic break down riff that again straddles the line of choppy heaviness but that is layered with some really well-placed guitar harmonics. It’s over this part of the song that vocalist Ryan Meehan shows his range as he complements the guitars with a crafty singing part. It’s not hokey, and it’s not timid. He goes for it, and it works. Maybe a nod to their Long Island forebears, his singing style is reminiscent of VOD’s Tim Williams and works in much the same way. It gives dimension to the song without diminishing its heaviness and aggression.

Break Through is an ingenuitive effort by No Idea. They stretch the normal tendencies of the hardcore sound just enough to be themselves. And to be clear, No Idea are decidedly a hardcore band. But they incorporate melodic elements and guitar dynamics that give them their own identity in the genre. As a first official effort, Break Through is strong. Hopefully, No Idea can continue to up their game as they grow.