Humble Servants

Posted January 28, 2010 in Music

It is no small venture taking on the arduous task of assembling a band, laying down fresh tracks and performing for small crowds of kids who swear they go to shows to have a good time, but only seem to stand around with arms crossed. But for those lucky enough to make it out of the weary confines of a damp four-walled garage to headlining their own nationwide tour, the wait is more than worth it. Riverside’s No Bragging Rights, a.k.a. NBR, is no exception. When determination meets talent after the long journey to the middle, it makes for some chill tunes and stories you can’t even dream up.

Now, I don’t wish to say something as tired and cliché as No Bragging Rights covers every genre from pop to metal to punk to hardcore (though I suppose I just did, didn’t I?)—but they’ve set the tone to metallic hardcore and it’s worked out just fine for them. The tunes feature solid snare hits by drumming fashionista Martin Alcedo, upbeat-sounding lyrics from microphonist Mike Perez, Handsome Rick’s slappa‘ da‘ bass four-string and crisp guitar licks by Daniel Garrow and Christian Lee. They have been playing consistently as a band since 2005 and finally signed on the dotted line with Pure Noise. But as the band learned, “getting signed doesn’t mean crap, really. You make it by working hard and writing good music.”

The band is definitely true to their name and remains humble and (like every serious music ensemble) they play shows; pitting scene kids, black Tees . . . the usual, but at no other show have I heard of pumpkins flying about, a midget lighting fireworks and a uniformed police officer getting down on the drum kit rather than bitching about the noise.

“The crowd, the energy, seeing strangers sing along or move to our songs—there’s nothing like it and it’s great!” says axe-man Garrow. “But at the same time it’s crazy because I know there’s nothing on this earth that could fill the void if it were to go. It’s a crazy, amazing, exciting, sweaty, exhausting, emotional ride that I wanna be strapped into for as much of this life as possible.”

Though, even through all the absurdities and mayhem the guys maintain a curtain level of humility. “In a nutshell . . . No Bragging Rights is like saying that we’re all here and able to do this because we have each other,” Garrow explains. “That goes as deep as family, friends, God, girlfriends, etc. There’s no way we could have come this far with a selfish attitude. Even ex-members have been a huge part of paving this road.”

And just like any self respecting band, No Bragging Rights has no gripe about jumping on the magic bus and hitting the road. What do they love about music? Everything.

“Touring, shows, talking to fans, meeting new people, seeing new places, writing, recording . . . All of it!” Garrow says. “Even the bad stuff! Like, yeah, I’d rather sleep in a bed than in the van with five other smelly dudes . . . but it’s part of it and I love it. Writing can be really stressful at times. We all come from such different musical backgrounds it’s hard to make everyone happy. Everyone puts in their two cents and we assemble the songs as a band. Ideas clash, writer’s block occurs, but in the end we come out of it with amazing songs and we’re all happy . . . When it comes down to it, it’s all about the music.”

So what’s the score here, what’s next? No Bragging Rights plans to shop their newly recorded demos to bigger labels and booking agents and hit the road during the following months. And as far as the long-term is concerned, they plan to put out new records once a year and tour full time. The guys are stickin‘ to their guns and recently popped off “The Loch Ness MonsTOUR” which hits everywhere from Cali to Texas to Florida and back again. The moving carnival is bringing it back to the grand ol’ IE this Friday at The Vibe in Riverside. Now, I wouldn’t bet my bottom dollar to catch little people rockin‘ the pyrotechnics, or drum-playing police at the show, but it’ll forsurely be a chill time with some kickin‘ tunes and barrels of booze.

No Bragging Rights w/Strung Out, Pulley at The Vibe, 1805 University Ave., Riverside, (951) 788-0310;, Fri, Jan. 29, 8:30PM. $15.


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