words: Gordon Phillips
This might be a tough to keep straight phonetically, but No Better just announced their debut full-length on No Sleep Records with not one, but two fantastic singles. The record is called It Felt Like Glass and drops July 27, 2018.
Since their formation in 2015, the Redlands, CA quartet has released a handful of EPs and singles, culminating in a signing to No Sleep at the end of 2017 and digital re-releases for 2016’s Forget Me Not and 2017’s If It’s Not You.
In something of an atypical, yet extremely welcome move, No Better simultaneously released the first two tracks from It Felt Like Glass to accompany the record’s announcement.
“Poise & Light” kicks off with a drum fade-in, a bold homage that long-time genre stalwarts will almost always associate with Cap’n Jazz as a boisterous, yet subtle way to introduce a record. The song’s mood is triumphant and emphatic with instrumental performances flattered by polished production. Vocalist Josh Olivier’s slacked delivery and deliberate cadence trace the space between golden era Mark Hoppus and Tom Delonge while still standing out as unique signature tenants of No Better’s sound. Delay pedal oscillation and doubled riffs rise and fall into a racing ride bell-fueled chorus. Weighing in at 2:37 (with the actual song taking up about 2:05 of that), “Poise & Light” is a perfect way to set the mood for a young band’s long-awaited debut record—direct and confident while reminding fans of all the things that drew them to the band in the first place.
“My Love Says Always” recalls one of Olivier’s favorite songwriting tendencies across prior releases—starting the song immediately with a vocal stanza and stripped-down accompaniment before ramping into a churning instrumental passage. As the title may suggest, “My Love Says Always” is a self-identifying love song, which is gradually becoming something of a lost art in this particular corner of indie rock. “I feel you pouring over me/the first rain after the longest summer/you live under my skin and I let you in cuz I like the feeling” Olivier sings into a stack of octave chords and subtle leads. The song’s momentum swings and lurches through synchronized band hits and half-time shifts before its synthesizer and gang vocal-laden conclusion.
It Felt Like Glass is available July 27, 2018 via No Sleep Records.