From the first chord of Grand Rapids’ own No Longer Bound’s Paid in Full, it becomes quickly evident I will have zero problem digesting this platter of hardcore. However, if you’ve come hungry, I hope you desire your meal in short hard bursts. Coming in at a dangerously long two minutes and seventeen seconds, “Stand Righteous” (the longest track on the album) tells you exactly what you are getting. This album has bludgeoning breakdowns, gang vocals and melody only imaginable by a concrete mixer. After all, what are you looking for from your hardcore bands?
The issue with No Longer Bound (and the same issue that has clouded this scene since metal and hardcore converged) is the lack of individuality. Blurred by crowds of crossover bands, No Longer Bound have quite a battle ahead of them, fighting to be chosen as one of many — it may be part of the band’s plan (or lack thereof) to exist without care for being labeled or even being picked out of a crowd.
Paid in Full is rambunctious, throbbing and visceral. The breakdowns are solid. The spine of the songs are solid. The production is thick and clear. Unfortunately, when it’s all about the music, it may be “listen a couple times” and move on. There isn’t enough here to sustain being the chosen ones.