“I don’t want to have to defend my medicine,” sings Bob Nanna on “Light Crisis,” which appears on the first full-length Braid album in 16 years. It’s a rattling but familiar taste of emo that hasn’t gotten stale. Just in time for the revival of the genre that the Midwest outfit had a hand in popularizing, No Coast delivers 12 timeless tracks. It’s a reunion record that doesn’t reek of a money grab.
The helix guitars and vocals of Nanna and Chris Broach are the glue that holds the Coast together. With the former’s buttery vox and the latter’s more nasal, Tom DeLonge-like approach, they’re a complementary yin and yang not bruised by time. The harmonics-driven “Damages!” bobs and weaves like Jimmy Eat World in a pillow fight with Piebald. And the title track sees the bros trading lines like “You’re the most elusive, most incredible/You’re the only thing that’s beautiful that no one understands.” They haven’t lost their maudlin, young-chap mentality.
Kudos to Braid’s solid rhythm section, too. Drummer Damon Atkinson and bassist Todd Bell stake the tent poles in these 12 blustery songs that might float away without their guidance. That’s half the fun of No Coast, though— just following the labyrinth this legendary emo band leads us down. Maybe the whippersnappers of the scene ought to leave it to Nanna and Broach to show ‘em how it’s done. Because they’ve really outdone themselves here with such a phenomenal comeback.