Formed in downstate Illinois in 1993, Braid was an early pioneer of “emotional hardcore,” a style of music indebted to various bands on Dischord Records (home to Rites of Spring, Jawbox and Fugazi). In the more than 20 years since Braid played its first show, emotional hardcore has morphed into “emo,” an all-but-meaningless catchall for mall punk, eyeliner, and anything else that the kids are into these days.
No Coast, Braid’s first LP in 16 years, drops on 8 July (via Topshelf Records) and finds the four-piece (Damon Atkinson (drums), Todd Bell (bass), Chris Broach (vocals/guitar), Bob Nanna (vocals/guitar)) in fine form both musically and lyrically.
Opening track “Bang” is a reminder of what a rush emo was back in the early ‘90s: swelling, melodic music married to earnest and often poetic lyrics that had little to do with the “tough guy” posturing prevalent in hardcore punk or the nihilism that blackened most seminal grunge and noise rock bands of the era.
Elsewhere on the album, the title track plays on the strength of having two solid front men leading the musical charge. Broach and Nanna complement each other on complex vocal and guitar exchanges, while “Many Enemies” is the sound of a band firing on all cylinders; super-tight playing highlighted by production that isn’t overly polished. Closing track “This is Not a Revolution” is a sly nod to growing older in a scene geared toward teens and twentysomethings.
"The drive has always been there to create new, exciting material that would speak to all of our fans, old and new," Bob Nanna states. "We're excited with how the record turned out and look forward to Braid's busy future."
Braid tour dates:
08 - Lansing, MI - Common Ground Music Festival
09 - Pittsburgh, PA - Altar Bar (w/ Into It. Over It.)
10 - Cincinnati, OH - South Gate House Revival (w/ Pity Sex, Signals Midwest)
11 - St. Louis, MO - Fubar (w/ Pity Sex, Signals Midwest)
12 - Champaign, IL - Mariposa Music Festival
20 - Chicago, IL - Township
23 - Asbury Park, NJ - Asbury Lane
24 - Boston, MA - Brighton Music Hall
25 - Washington DC - Rock and Roll Hotel
26 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg
27 - Philadelphia, PA - Boot & Saddle