No Trigger - Canyoneer (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

No Trigger

Canyoneer (2006)


Building hype can be such a fatal practice when you truly believe in what you're trying to gather people together for, but it's all the more promising when the item in question delivers just what you've been promising the people they'd receive (in your own eyes, at least). It's more that the item lives up to your own expectations rather than others', but when the product is in your hands and everything you've expected, it's a great feeling.

What I'm really trying to say is, No Trigger's first full-length, Canyoneer is fantastic.

The Massachusetts natives have developed their brand of metaphorically political, melodic hardcore/punk to the point where matching it up with Bill Stevenson's perfect production for the genre (generally loud, with the guitars turned up to 11 and the vocals at a mix that highlights aggression) results in one of the finest pure punk rock offerings this year will see (and a few other surrounding years, for that matter). Tom Rheault continues to use a plethora of physical objects to convey his reactions to the sociological and political infrastructure existing within both mainstream and underground culture, all the while offered in a heartily consistent number of generally great songs that rarely miss a beat, instead actually offering quite an assortment of unpredictable moments.

While the first half of the album may eclipse its latter a bit between the excellently sincere chorus of "Neon National Park" and flawless "pickup" transition and resulting melodic breakdown in "Fish Eye Lens" amongst other moments, it doesn't include "More to Offer." Frankly, it's quite possibly the best song the band's written and recorded to date. Exhibiting an amplified urgency and call to arms change, Rheault examines the troublesome lack of gender diversity within punk rock; the song appropriately features female vocalist Hayley Helmericks of Denver indie rock outfit Monofog, which adds a completing element even as her contribution is limited to some layering of the chorus.

However, the band may not be able to fully shake the Strike Anywhere comparisons quite yet, especially as there are a few noticeable moments from where influence is clearly drawn. "The Honshu Underground," a song referencing the band's exploding popularity in Japan around the release of the early material compilation Extinction in Stereo, fades out with an acoustic guitar part -- vocal-less here at least -- that's a bit reminiscent of SA's "Antidote." The poppyness of opener "The (Not So) Noble Purveyors..." and the urgency of "Owner Operator" both harken to SA's Chorus of One era as well. Additionally, it's clear the band has been playing a bit of Bigwig in the van; both the bridge of "My Woods" and the intro of the 45-second blast "You Said It" offer metallic, briefly wanky guitar solos that certainly cement the comparison. And didn't the New Jersey skatepunks in question write a song called "Owned and Operated" for their own last effort, released only last month? Funny coincedence...

Still, it's clear No Trigger is starting to otherwise implement their influences more intelligently and originally, thus beginning to forge a path of their own that will likely be much more than an abbreviated, narrow road on the atlas of punk and hardcore.

The Honshu Underground

More to Offer

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