REVIEW: No Cure – The Commitment to Permanence [EP]

Artist: No Cure
Album: The Commitment to Permanence – EP

Being straight edge is something that’s immensely personal to everyone and anyone who chooses that lifestyle—and because it is so unique to each person, the way its expressed through music, mindset and action are similarly unique. It might be a corny thing to admit, but it was bands like Liferuiner with No Saints and The World We Knew with Exordium that exposed me to the straight edge subculture—and because of that, I’ll always associate my decision and commitment to become and stay straight edge with those bands. But in the same breath, the bands I’ve since discovered and immersed myself in—and the connections with musicians and fans I’ve made due to those bands—are a big part of what has held my interest to straight edge. There are a lot of bands to list, but because this is a review for No Cure, you guessed it—No Cure are damn high on that list. In the great laundry list of bands with a straight edge message I know and love, I don’t know of too many like No Cure, and certainly none of them have had such a rapid and meteoric rise to notoriety. It seems as though it was barely even a year ago that I was sent the band’s first material, and now we’re here, in 2023, with the band just finishing a nationwide US tour supporting acts like The Acacia Strain. That’s wild—but it’s also incredibly well deserved. On The Commitment to Permanence, No Cure further refine their sound and hone it to a razor-sharp edge, creatively blending pummeling metalcore and hardcore with dizzying, riff-heavy and ruthless death metal to create something as timeless as the pledge that serves as their impetus.

The Commitment to Permanence is a horrendously heavy record, and whether its riffs drenched in dissonance and despair a la “Slumped in the House of God” or a series of cantankerous, crushing breakdowns from cuts like “No Cure Straight Edge Die Slow Fuck You” (a real mouthful), No Cure stop at nothing to absolutely pulverize the listener. Songs like the former—featuring a stunning guest appearance from Sanguisugabogg’s frontman, forming an unlikely alliance between drugged out death metal and straight edge aggression—feel like the continuation of the metallic tones that drove …For the Stainless Steel. Meanwhile, “No More Dead Friends” and the every-popular “No Cure Straight Edge Die Slow Fuck You” are metalcore mosh anthems, crafted with the singular purpose of live-performance pile-ons and spin kicks to the dome. The latter is where No Cure seem to truly excel, as they expertly translate the high-octane assault of the live performance to a recorded setting (plus, I’m just a little bit of a breakdown junkie). This attack continues with lead single “Parasite (TWO SHOTS),” another chug-friendly slugfest. To put it briefly, No Cure waste very little time in proving they can swing fists with the best of them, adding a heaping helping of heavy-handed hardcore to their dynamic that seems to have blossomed since their last release—and truly shines on the aforementioned cuts.

Other songs, like “Blunt Force Love Song” and “Slumped in the House of God” focus on a more metallic approach to dismantling the listener. Here, quick drumming and relentless fretwork steal the show, slicing and dicing the listener into shreds, only to then be ground into dust by the climactic breakdowns each song proudly boasts. “Blunt Force Love Song” especially veers ever so slightly into brutal death metal with hints of aggression that beautifully complement the song’s featured vocalist (none other than the frontman of Mouth for War/10 to the Chest). An important point is that while these songs add variety to No Cure’s dynamic, they don’t undercut the more “-core” driven elements, and instead incorporate them to provide a very comprehensively metalcore feeling—but without all the superfluous elements and frills that weigh most metalcore outfits down.

As I reflect on it more, maybe calling No Cure a metalcore band sells them short—at their most superficial level, they combine elements of death metal and hardcore, i.e., metalcore—but their ability to include elements of punk, thrash, brutal death metal and tints of beatdown make them an infinitely more diverse act than 99% of the “metalcore” crowd—while it might not be a bad word, it certainly seems to oversimplify what No Cure bring to the table. If nothing else, they create powerful, passionate and punishingly heavy music with a broad message, from the shunning of pedophilic priests in “Slumped in the House of God” to the lives cut short by drunk driving, substance use and abuse in “No Cure Straight Edge Die Slow Fuck You” and “No More Dead Friends.” Ultimately, they’re a band that demands to be checked out if for no other reason than they’re damn good at what they do—and it seems they aren’t about to stop doing it.

For Fans Of: Orthodox, Year of the Knife, Boundaries, The World We Knew
By: Connor Welsh, DO