No Idols - Low (Swing the Pyramid Hands) (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

No Idols

Low (Swing the Pyramid Hands) (2006)


The year of 2006 is going to be a tremendous year to be associated with Syracuse hardcore. There's so many amazing things in the works from so many amazing bands that I'm close to drooling in anticipation over some of what's to come. Area favorites No Idols are doing their damndest to start the year off in fine fashion with the release of Low, and if this record is any indication of pending releases, I'm not even anticipating enough.

A twenty-two minute blast of absolutely unrelenting ferocity, the band just does not know how to quit. Frontman Ryan Canavan's vocals ooze anger and conviction from each and every pore, making the thought-provoking lyrical content all the more poignant. The impassioned delivery rides the waves of crashing guitar supplied by Ted Niccoli and Jay Travato, as the hardcore backbone of the band also implements a loud, gritty rock‘n'roll feel to really flesh out the textures of it all.

Rock‘n'roll leanings aside, the record is largely a no-frills, straight-ahead hardcore record with more intensity than I think the band even knows what to do with. Every musician helps contribute here; the drum fills are thunderous, and the bass thick and driving. Without giving the sound even a slight chance to go stale, they're able to pack the most punch possible into a two-minute time slot. The opening track, "Temporary Solutions to Permanent Problems" immediately establishes the five-piece's gusto, as they motor through two-and-a-half minutes in what seems like half that time. The often melodic undercurrents only add another layer to what's already a great mix of textures. No Idols are a band who perfectly understands how to inject some melody into a hardcore sound, without any whiny vocals that many bands try to pass off as singing.

"You want freedom huh? I'll give ya fuckin' freedom. Further back further back, feet by the back, that's it, you're going to jail motherfucker, how's that for freedom?" Those are the telling words of a sound clip that proceeds "Stencil City," a song that perfectly encompasses what the band is all about without even surpassing the two-minute mark. Lyrics with a real social and political grip on life, all venomously delivered by the scruffy shouts of Ryan Canavan. Exploring the problem of destitution in big cities, Canavan just has an articulate way of working his words, and just a powerful way of delivering them, making sure you take everything in above the roar of the guitars behind him.

A stellar effort from a band who in their short tenure have paid their dues and then some as a band, only to turn around and reward everyone else with a tremendous and passionate effort that will no doubt be making some people listen.