Rating: 10 Out Of 10
Reviewed By: Bam-Bam
The Baltimore boys, NO COMPROMISE, better known to their fans as NOCO, are back with their fourth album (including their 2009 Acoustic outing, Kaleidoscope) in no less than a five year period which speaks volumes for their work ethic as well as their integrity to the music. While I was completely on-board for their debut, Pull The Plug, they seemed to lose me along the way with the release of 2008′s This Could Be You. Well, in a feat that most cannot accomplish, they bounce back in a big way with this latest ode to everything that makes them the band I loved so much on their first…and even more! Bouncing between genres that include the Active Rock blasts of CHEVELLE (check out the lead-off track “Give”) and the Alternative bounce of PANIC AT THE DISCO (their brilliant album closer “FML”) the boys are hitting their stride in the most seasoned way imaginable. Fact #1-The band is very tight and immensely talented on their chosen instruments. Singer and psychotically versed bassist Justin is picture-perfect on evey track. Drummer, Will, is one of the most inventive multi-talents behind the kit you’ll hear this side of Stewart Copeland and Carter Beauford. And, if the six-string is your passion, get ready to learn a few intermediate lessons that will keep you busy for months with the sick performance that Jack lays down on this one! Fact #2-The songs are solid and catchy, one after the other. Nothing to add here other than the fact that the album has quickly become a favorite of mine for studying song structure and methodology! Brilliant!!! Fact #3-The production is STELLAR!!! Producer Scott Spelbring is just crazy genius with his knob-twisting and layered effects! Kudos all around.
I can’t come up with one thing to not love about this album and I’m completely sure I won’t be alone. It’s just great music that shouldn’t be questioned or picked apart unless you’re just into that kind of thing. Trust me though, it won’t be easy because these guys have the smarts to mind-fuck the hell out of you and make you think it’s just luck. A word of advice…it ain’t! The guys are very street smart and have toured their asses off to perfect their craft, so if you’re looking for something to make total sense to you and create the illusion of sameness in your life…you’re all out of luck. NOCO is for those who look for higher levels on this totem pole we call life, and with Level Up…they’ve spelled it out for you pretty clearly.
Head over to http://www.NOCOROCK.com to check out their music and support the band by buying one of their very cool “Superhero T-Shirts” that I’m hoping they’ll be mailing me very soon for my Birthday! I’ll take a large, please! Very, Very Highly Recommended And Then Some!!!