No Honor Among Thieves – The ‘Prayers’ EP
The Hardcore Punk played by many bands in the New York scene and the surrounding areas has been making waves since it’s inception in the 1980’s and recently it has had something of a global expansion.
Hardcore scenes all over the world from here in the UK, Europe and in the US, are growing and standing tall. There are almost countless bands nowadays, so it does mean that a great many end up sounding banal and not really breaking the norm or even producing a solid version of what’s already there.
This is where No Honor Among Thieves come in, with a heavy spin on Connecticut-brand heavy music.
You can hear clear genre staples in the NHAT sound, alongside contemporaries such as Touche Amore and within context, that is certainly no bad thing. Overall what you are presented with is a versatile mix of Metallic Hardcore and the more middle-ground style of the genre from the early-to-mid 2000’s; think bands such as Comeback Kid, Final Fight and Sinking Ships.
The band state that constant changes in tempo are something that keeps people moving and entertained and I have to say, this is bang on. Their Jazz-like chop and changes in time and tempo are something that were, and still are, the fundamental elements of Post-Hardcore. That’s the final element to the sound by the way, this isn’t a tangent. It could be though… Sorry? Oh, really? We don’t have time… but… ugh FINE.
The debut EP Prayers contains six tracks of Hardcore belters, laden with honest lyrics and enough riffage to keep any Metal-head happy. ‘If we can take this, then we can break this’ screams at you in defiance on track one, ‘Future Poison’. Melodic elements both above and integrated with the fierce Metallic Hardcore riffs add variety to the sound and make the heavier break-downs and crescendos far more effective and welcoming.
The interplay between cleaner and screamed vocals also carries that feel for the aforementioned Post-Hardcore/Melodic Hardcore band, Touche Amore. This stylistic is well placed on ‘Sharp Knife’.
‘We live life forever, without life, without life without time, we go on together. We share commonality’. ‘Grim Maker’ gives us our half way point and is one the far more intense tracks on the EP. It has so much riffage that every Hardcore band in the world felt the shake upon the song’s inception. As much as said musical manoeuvre can be well over-done and boring at times, NHAT pull it off – loudly. Notably once again with the interplay between cleaner and harder vocals, the intensity isn’t let up.
‘Serenity’ provides a respite with just over a minute and a half of quaint, relaxing and downright beautiful notes.
It’s quickly back to the Hardcore with ‘Bifurcation’ however. On the whole, the track has more of a Post-Hardcore feel from the vocals, as well as the slower sections and build ups, while leaning more into the Punk-end of the bands sound in faster sections. To an extent, the latter days of Alexisonfire‘s material seem comparable as the song structure resembles such.
The sixth and final onslaught, ‘Thoughts Of A Wolf’, is brought hurtling forward at some speed, smacking you down, picking you back up and sending you back to the maelstrom for more. An almost four minute blast of Hardcore Punk, reinforced with melodic leads over mildly metallic riffage and fast-Punk break downs, it’s a great way to end.
Personally, I am very fussy and critical of modern Hardcore as I prefer the old-school and more middling eras. However, being a fan of Post-Hardcore I find this band’s multi-faceted take on the genre gripping and original.
- For updates head to Facebook.
- To stream the bands music, head to their Reverbnation profile and bandcamp where their releases to date can be also be streamed as well as downloaded.
- You can download the EP and find hard copies via CD baby.
(Gig Photos by Dana Rouleau)