No Harm Done - The Start of Something New (Cover Artwork)

No Harm Done

The Start of Something New (2007)


"This is the start of something new!" yells lead singer/bassist Matt Cantwell, getting right to the point on No Harm Done's latest effort of the same name. This is definitely a change, and definitely for the better. Looking back at our friends, No Harm Done, they've done a lot of touring and, most notably, dropped their second guitarist. What's to come of this technically proficient socio-political band? A: A way more simplistic, heartfelt-driven approach that I find way more put together than anything they've ever done before. They've mixed just the right amounts of melody with their strong brand of punk rock we've grown to love from these guys. Don't get me wrong -- these dudes didn't get soft on us; in fact, they're probably arguably harder, but they've finally hit their stride with The Start of Something New.

Everything from the vocals to the mix, to the overall production they used on this release, is truly standout work. There are finally strongly unifying melodies throughout each song and each is pieced together with their upbeat structures that really make No Harm Done different from the rest. Cantwell's vocals are killer, and he's able to really pull the listener into his world whether he's yelling or swooning, and with the backups of guitarist Matt Messore pulling in for the gang vocals and trade-offs, they've gone really out in developing a more in-depth feel to their messages by maintaining their vocal contrasts. They're no longer shouting anti-establishment rants, at least not so obviously, and instead they've taken an approach that seems much closer to home and have been speaking about their town and the struggles they've been through over the last few years.

This release shows a strong follow-through -- not that there are many tracks on an EP to make any mistakes, but each song really holds its own, many times in under just a minute and a half. In such a short amount of time you have the catchiness bundled up within songs like "We Stand Together Alone" and "Bastogne" along with the epic ending of the last track, "Falling Apart."

I definitely see this record becoming an anthem for many kids as well as a prized possession until we get our next full-length from these guys. If you loved their technical and quirky structures of old, then you might not jump into this right away. For everyone else, this is some solid work and a direction I hope they'll keep up. We can definitely use a little honesty in the quickly-becoming-blander-than-thou scene of melodic hardcore. They weren't at all bad before, but this is definitely the start of something new.