Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Album Review: Adult Braces by No Trigger (by Robyn Pierce)


It’s always a special day when No Trigger brings out some new music. I’ve really grown to love this five-piece melodic hardcore band from Massachusetts, but they can leave fans a little starved for new music (the six year wait between Canyoneer and Tycoon was so.damn.long.) While we don’t have another full-length album yet, No Trigger have just released a 4-track EP entitled Adult Braces out on Bird Attack Records. No Trigger’s previous EP (Be, Honest) came out right at the end of 2010, less than a year and a half before Tycoon was released in 2012, as a between-albums snack to keep fans going; so, I hope that’s what is happening here and we can expect to have even more music from these guys in the next little while. Right now, the question is whether the new EP measures up to the quality of No Trigger’s previous releases.


The first song off of Adult Braces that the band put out was ‘Dogs on Acid’, which came a little earlier than the full release with a goofy and slightly trippy music video. It starts, perhaps not so strangely, with some acoustic guitar. Despite being pretty fast and loud, No Trigger is adept at slipping some softer moments into their songs to really great effect (it is the tender guitar ringing out at the end of ‘The Honshu Underground’ that makes that song so damn perfect). It’s not long before ‘Dogs on Acid’ bursts open with Tom Rheault’s familiar vocals and some exhilarating guitar. When I first listened to this, I clicked the link on Facebook where someone had written in the comments that this new song was “worth the wait”. Although this seemed like a painfully predictable response, it is 100% correct. ‘Dogs on Acid’ has all of the pounding melody you’d want in a No Trigger song, and Tom’s vocals are complete perfection. I’ve since found out that Adult Braces is produced by Bill Stevenson and Jason Livermore of The Blasting Room, who also produced Canyoneer – arguably No Trigger’s best album, and so many other awesome albums that CPRW should probably do a Blasting Room top ten (if we haven’t already/if it’s even possible).

First up on the full release is ‘Sleeping Bags’, which opens with a few stirring chords before sliding into a fast-paced verse and chorus. Like ‘Dogs on Acid’, this song sits so well with everything else that No Trigger has already produced, but it doesn’t feel tired or boring. I found myself dancing along to the chorus almost immediately, and it’ll make for a great singalong at live shows too. The second track, ‘Holy Punks’, keeps up the energy with a narrative-style song about getting thrust into adulthood and making the most of it. I love everything happening with Tom’s vocals on this track. The backing reverb on the refrain “We’re all just holy punks in a burning church” is scrumptious. Then, on Adult Braces’ last song ‘Hyperaware’ you can hear why No Trigger has sometimes been compared to A Wilhelm Scream. Despite being quite long, it’s hard and fast – gradually building and ending the EP with some furious chanting.

As a long time No Trigger fan, I’m more than satisfied with this latest offering; I really just wish there were more songs on this EP. If you’ve never listened to No Trigger before, Adult Braces would serve as a great introduction (and, if you like melodic hardcore, you really should check them out!). If you’re a fan, you’ve probably already listened to this EP multiple times because you’ve been waiting FOREVER for some new music from No Trigger. As expected, it’s worth the wait.

Stream and download Adult Braces here: https://birdattackrecords.bandcamp.com/album/adult-braces

Like No Trigger here: https://www.facebook.com/notrigger/

This review was written by Robyn Pierce.