Downer-punk rockers, No Drama, have released their debut, self-titled EP jointly with Hidden Bay Records and Seitan’s Hell Bike Punks. This catchy, and riff-based set of indie punk tunes is a great introduction to the Toulouse, France-based band.
The lo-fi EP begins with “Better Off” which has one of the record’s many distorted, super catchy guitar lines paired with lo-fi crashing drums and fuzz-tone bass. A raspy lead vocal accented with harmonies sings to us about the fragility of friendship.
This song is followed by the catchiest of the record’s offerings, “Happy Dog”. This slower tempoed tune has another great and mesmerizing guitar riff that is second in catchiness only to the “happy dog, happy dog” refrain of the song’s chorus. At 5:50, this is the record’s longest song, which is distinct in its breakdown and slow building middle section and extended guitar solos.
“Exit” takes us down another level into a slower, even more somber space. Simple vocal harmonies and a meandering guitar line tread over more subdued bass playing and gently plodding drums. However, we don’t stay in this ethereal realm for long, the drums quickly begin a driving chugging beat that sees its fellow instrumentation picking up speed until it crashes back down once more.
The pace is quickly picked back up with “MFNM”. By now we expect an earworm of a guitar line and we are not disappointed here. Although the track begins as No Drama’s nimblest and most tender-hearted, it morphs into another blistering downpour of crunchy guitar riffs, fuzzed out bass, and bombastic cymbal hits.
The EP finishes off with the energetic and driving “Born to Clap”. The taunting guitar line mirrors the lead vocals before diverging at the chorus then twisting into a concise little guitar solo. Harmonies and vocal call-and-response phrases make for a fun and unique moment. Of course, the song (and EP) ends with emphatic hand clapping, as it should!Anyone who listens will also be clapping for an encore for this powerful and well-used 18 minutes of lo-fi alternative rock. The album at once keeps a steady pace and also shows the band’s range of ability and emotion. No Drama is available digitally and on cassette from Hidden Bay Records and Seitan’s Hell Bike Punks.
Written by John Brouk
You can follow the band on: