NOBRO – ‘Sick Hustle’

By Renette van der Merwe

Canada seems to have a knack for churning out prime musicians, creating some of the meanest punk, post-hardcore, and alternative bands in the world. Rush, Alexisonfire, PUP, Silverstein and Billy Talent are just some of the talents the Great White North has spawned over the years, and dynamic quartet NOBRO have now joined the ranks.

Formed in 2014, the Montreal group’s ambitions to be the “most kick-ass female band ever” may be ambitious, but certainly not unachievable – and with ‘Sick Hustle’ they prove they’re well on their way to world domination.

First track ‘Don’t Die’ would go over well with all the FIDLAR fans out there as Kathryn McCaughey’s confident vocal cuts through guitar fuzz in a very similar way to Zac Carper’s. It’s a blistering track that culminates in a vortex of screams, bongos, and scorching riffs.

Something very particular about this band is their ability to use an array of instruments and elements to add dimension to their music, and it’s especially effective on previously released track ‘Don’t Want To Talk About It’. The addition of a rhythmic thump throughout the song creates a kind of pulsing tension that makes the pay-off of the breakdown all the sweeter.

Given that ‘Marianna’ feels like a fun, party track you could sing along to at 4am when you’re dancing around in your underwear, it seems clever that it’s the last song. As with every other track here, it’s wonderfully written and brought to life by four individuals who are obviously the bad bosses they claim to be.

With ‘Sick Hustle’ being a four-track teaser, the only criticism is that this EP is way too short. Like all good things, it ends just as you’re really having fun, but we can respect quality over quantity – and what NOBRO have produced here absolutely ticks the box on the former.

Queens of key changes and anthemic choruses, NOBRO are cementing their place in rock ‘n roll history with unapologetic badassery and high octane tunes that you’ll wish could be the soundtrack to your life.

RENETTE VAN DER MERWE

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