Here’s another excellent release from Engineer Records. If you’re present on social networks and various hardcore punk communities on the web or you follow blogs and webzines, you probably heard about Rites, a Dutch quintet that nurtures such a unique sound. The band released a few recordings over the years, such as a debut self-titled EP, Misery Is Company 7″ EP and Inner Plagues EP. All these releases sound good, but it seems that nothing matches No Changes Without Me, their debut full-length album recently released by Engineer Records, Shield Recordings, and Sell Your Heart Records. The band promoted this material with a title track and People Are A Like All Over, two excellent singles that serve as more than appropriate examples of what you might expect from the remainder of the material.
No Changes Without Me carries nine compositions suitable for anyone even remotely into hardcore music. Still, Rites nurture a specific sound that refuses any categorization in a singular music genre. Perhaps hardcore punk comes to mind first, but you’ll notice how these skillful musicians combined some of the finest properties borrowed from complementary music genres like melodic hardcore, melodic punk rock, and pop punk. Rites flawlessly levitate between heavier moments where all those robust riffs and powerful beats articulate with tremendous power, and much calmer moments where all the vocal arrangements shine bright alongside catchy melodies. These melodic moments are notable during the anthemic choruses, but some compositions include this quality during the verses as well.
Of course, excellent lead vocal harmonies are the centerpiece of this material, and you’ll notice how soothing, ear-appealing, mesmerizing low, mid, and high notes pair with more aggressive screams and shouts. The lead vocalist nicely fits the sonic background provided by the remainder of the group. No Changes Without Me bursts with in-your-face chord progressions and riffs, while the equally detailed low-end notes give more density and clarity to the beforementioned instruments. Nothing could sound this good without profoundly dynamic rhythmic sequences based upon energetic beats, breaks, fills, and other percussive acrobatics. The entire band sounds top-notch from scratch to finish.
Also, No Changes Without Me looks divine. The band and record labels paid so much attention to every detail while working on the visual identity of this record, and judging by the looks and quality, No Changes Without Me could easily pair those deluxe releases by renowned names in the game. This album is a state of visual art thanks to high-quality cardboard sleeve decorated with eye-peeling illustrations, but the extras are what caught my attention. No Changes Without Me comes with a gigantic full-color poster and inlay that carries photos, lyrics, and all necessary information about this record and the band. Also, you’ll get a couple of stickers. Still, that’s not all. The clear vinyl carries tunes on one side, while screen-printed illustrations decorate the other. No Changes Without Me represents an audio-visual treat for every true hardcore punk fan, and you should grab this gem as soon as possible. Head to
Engineer Records, Shield Recordings, or Sell Your Heart Records for more information about ordering.