No Cure, The Commitment to Permanence (2023)

Have any of you seen those Batman videos where he beats the bricks off somebody for committing some miniscule offense? That’s how I feel when I listen to a straight edge band when I myself am not straight edge.

That’s a good thing, I like music that scares me.

No Cure is a band that made me uncomfortable when I first listened to them… in a good way. Straight edge kids playing over crushing death metal and heavy hardcore-influenced riffs with inflammatory statements can ruffle some feathers and make some cowards say, “Turn this shit off, man,” when confronted with questions of what they consume.

Bordering on Hardline, No Cure have maintained that edge through each of their releases, which they eclipse on their new record, The Commitment to Permanence.

The straight edge life choice is, at its core, a hard stance to take in the face of the ever forceful hand of society. Everyday alcohol and certain drugs are forced down your throat (*laughs in SSD) and those who choose to abstain are taking on a severe affront to society’s grasp. Straight edge kids remain some of the most dedicated to this scene we know and love.

No Cure, Alabama straight edge warriors, continue their affront to society's norms with The Commitment to Permanence. Having already established their aforementioned potent blend of metallic hardcore and death metal-kissed songwriting since their 2022 debut …For the Stainless Steel, they’ve only taken that mixture into darker territory in the last year. 

Not looking to waste any time on this release, No Cure cracks you over the head with their pounding rhythmic opening of “Slumped in the House of God.” From here, the EP never lets up as they take you on a stroll through riff city, courtesy of guitarist Aesop whose tuning sounds like it’s layered with cinder blocks:

Vocalist Blaythe’s vocals scream out obscenities and declarations of war against high and mighty church dwellers and the corruption of its leaders. A feature from Sanguisugabogg vocalist Devin Swank assists this track near the bridge and adds to the band's death metal influence.

The continuous assault never lets up with their following tracks “Parasite (Two Shots)” and the ever friendly “No Cure Straight Edge Die Slow Fuck You.” If there’s anything to say about these tracks is that they live up to their vicious titles. No Cure has mastered the art of keeping inflammatory straight edge alive through their song titles and lyricism, all backed by the crushing rhythms.

Blaythe’s lyrics on the aforementioned track with drunk drivers and the danger they pose not only to themselves but to anyone in their vicinity. This being such a common occurrence, one that’s affected band members personally, you can feel Blaythe’s seething anger when he begins his tirade with, “Why should I be in danger because you can’t control yourself/Don’t you dare put the burden on me/How could you live so selfishly?”

If you’re looking for subtlety and artsy expressions of complex emotions in lyrics, then look somewhere else because Blaythe is as forthcoming with how these fucked up situations make him feel. It’s refreshing honestly because it feels like there’s an actual target being drawn out here and a danger to the band making such pointed statements rather than empty accusations at the sky.

No Cure shows how little of a fuck they give about how anyone perceives them or their music throughout the EP, particularly on the track “Self Preservation” which starts with the line “I am going to outlive you.” This opening line reminds me of those lighters they sold that said “Keep smoking I want you to die,” this is the kind of attitude that straight edge needs, and it needs to be said by people who aren’t afraid to back up what they say in person.

Photo: Nick Chance

No Cure finish off the EP with a cover of “Force of Change” by '90s straight edge greats Strife. It's a fitting farewell to an unwavering and relentless 20-minute metallic hardcore affair. The influence Strife has on No Cure is crystal clear as they helped take the straight edge sound into a heavier territory with even more dedicated lyricism. 

If you haven’t heard this band or this EP yet, get on it. No Cure is delivering more and more brutality with each release and The Commitment to Permanence dishes out some of their hardest riffs and most cutting lyricism you'll encounter in hardcore today. 

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