No Problem’s second album We’re Already Dead is like falling down an elevator shaft. It’s straight-forward, uncomplicated, a bit of a bummer, and against your better judgement you get a bit of a thrill from it.
Not that the previous album, And Now This, was sunshine and lollipops, but the fleshed out atmosphere of angst suffuses We’re Already Dead, giving No Problem’s hardcore a new gravity. This tone is set in the amazing album artwork and carries through to the final track “Dust” with its momento mori hook of “It doesn't matter what you’ve done cuz in the end we all turn to dust.”
This unease and paranoia is never ponderous, reaching instead for agitated and panicked recognizable to any city dweller. The album is full of songs about being trapped, hearing the boots coming for you, and knowing that no matter which direction you choose, there’s only one ultimate destination.
While there are explorations of death rock or post punk sounds in these songs, they do not come at the expense of more traditional hardcore elements. You’ll still find chugging heavy intros that wind you up, short blasts of chaos that set you loose, with brief respites of “whoahs” and “ooohs” for you to chant, and melodic hooks that give you something to remember long after you’ve stumbled out of the pit to catch your breath.
This album is much cleaner sounding than No Problem’s debut with the band handling their own production duties. We're Already Dead sounds a bit more crisp and balanced with less grit in the guitars, drums that pound rather than click, and immaculate vocals—all of which call to mind the very clean sounds of West Coast Hardcore circa the 1980s.
We’re Already Dead shows No Problem progressing forward, willing to take more chances with their traditional sounds though never once forgetting to shred your face with songs that make you look over your shoulder questioning the motives of people that surround you.