(Get Stoked/Get Outta Town Records, 7-inch, digital download)
The hardcore scene has had a home in Burlington since the early 1990s. Although the scene has ebbed and flowed through the years, hardcore ideals and fervor have remained strong. On their self-titled, debut 7-inch EP, Burlington’s No Submission continue the momentum built by Crucial Times, another Burlington-based hardcore band — three-quarters of which make up No Submission. These latest hardcore torchbearers keep the flame burning bright with conviction. No Submission deliver timeless, youth-crew offerings whose gang vocals inspire fist-pumping and singing along.
“I Still Believe,” cowritten by Will Rutkowski of Unrestrained, hardly clears one minute, but it introduces the EP with ferocity and old-school hardcore values. Drummer Bruce Fitzgerald hastily fires in, setting the tone and driving the song. His playing is reminiscent of early Warzone. The song is a good ol’ hardcore ode to betrayal, and singer Mikey X shouts, “We know our convictions, and we’re not changing our minds.”
Mikey X is on the mic with a mission. He is obviously feeding on the vocal styles that originated with such NYC hardcore bands as Judge and Youth of Today. Although not straightedgers, No Submission are tuned into the same frequency as those innovators.
On “Dear Fred Phelps,” Mikey X bemoans the suppression of human rights through religion. Considering that the eight-song EP just breaks eight minutes, it’s remarkable that No Submission manage to convey meaningful political and social objectives amid the musical chaos.
“Counter Recruitment” offers the EP’s first breakdown, a nourishing hardcore staple, and rounds the record into danceable fury. Bassist Matt Kimball picks his way through with effortless abrasion. His mid-range, enhanced tone is loaded with grit. Guitarist Justin Gonyea delivers a solid backdrop throughout. With a full wall of tone, he pushes the project into a burly, palm-muted assault.
“SS Trash” offers the reminder that Nazi skinheads always have been, still are, and always will be unwelcome in the hardcore scene. Mikey X insists, “Get out, get out, get out, Nazi scum.” This type of song never gets old.
“Shit Out of Luck” starts off with a humorous but grim proclamation from Mikey X, who howls, “I’m fucking losing my shit.” The song exemplifies the aggressive but positive personal venting for which hardcore is known. Armed with all the essential ingredients, it prevails with a classic formula.
No Submission are not trying to create anything new here. Although at times they fall short in earnest delivery, it seems the band’s main objective — and it’s an important one — is keeping hardcore alive and well. In that respect, No Submission prosper with a vengeance.