No Bragging Rights: Cycles review

\"NoNo Bragging Rights bring the old-school hams and they bring them hard, fast and loud” – so states the one sheet accompanying the bands latest release, Cycles. Described as “evoking an era when kids cared more about circle pits, stage dives, pile-ups and sing-a-longs than flat irons and auto-tuned remixes”, No Bragging Rights are all about bring back the simple yet effective music that most of us know and love. Formed in 1999, No Bragging Rights may well be keeping it old school, but their unique blend of melodic hardcore has built them quite a following and garnered them supporting slots with some of the best and brightest of the contemporary scene. Couple this with their desire to uplift and empower the ‘disenfranchised youth’, No Bragging Rights (NBR) are setting out to remind the world that no matter how hard it gets or how tough it is, life does get better, matching their message of empowerment, dedication and strength through struggle. From the opening melodies of the aptly titled The Advent Of Change it’s apparent that NBR have got a message and that they intend to share it with the world. Starting soft before unleashing their full force, the pit friendly nature of the band is clear, unleashing distorted power combined with a serious sense of rhythm and ability. Pushing on through Hope Theory this continues, upping the pace and launching the listener into a fast paced melee of gang vocals, pummelling drum lines, roaring guitar tones and surprisingly melodic vocals. Deep and powerful from the off, there’s no stopping the rampage of NBR, suggesting that they could well be the answer to a scene saturated by wannabes. Track after track flows out of Cycles, each one progressing from the one before with even more power, determination and guile. From the fast paced and hard hitting moments of  Appraisals and Ommissions through to title track Cycles before unleashing their fury once again on Not My Salvation, there’s not a moment to rest as the band continue their frenzied journey. Stand out moments have to be Fight For My Life – a track that’s surely going to get pits moving and jumping, and the almost speed metal orientated Ascensions, the closing track on the album. Closing with perhaps the most hard hitting and personal track on the album, NBR finish as they began, hammering out straight up metal designed for the live scene. In a world where manufactured boy bands and auto-tuned wannabes garner success and critical acclaim it’s refreshing to hear a band like NBR who are real, determined, and bringing back the music that most of us grew up listening to. Is this the start of the revolution – I don’t know – but whatever it is, it’s damned refreshing to hear. Rating: 8.5/10 -Dave Nicholls