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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Bane

The Note

Review by Gary Hill

I am probably one of the more unusual progressive rock fans in that I always liked hardcore - you know that raw, frantic version of punk rock of which the most well known band was probably The Dead Kennedys - well, Suicidal Tendencies, but they were a bit more metal. While that may not seem a very progressive rock thing to admit, it's the truth. The aggressive energy and realism of their stripped down approach always appealed to me - plus it was just plain fun. Well, this is the first I've heard of the modern era of hardcore, and I have to say I like it. This album combines the old energy and fury with a more heavy metal approach, and even borders on alternative rock at times. While by the last cut the group's simplistic approach is wearing a bit thin; I have to say that there are plenty of albums that wear out their welcome much sooner. This is a cool disc, but parents should be warned, as with all hardcore, there is a warning on the language.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2005 Year Book Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Woulda Coulda Shoulda
This frantic metallic hardcore stomper calls to mind Suicidal Tendencies. This new incarnation of hardcore definitely benefits from the addition of the metal guitar sounds.
Pot Committed
This one is a bit more punk leaning than the last one, but this includes a cool thrash segment. This drops uncharacteristically (for hardcore) to a mellow ballad-like segment with piano that runs through as an instrumental segment. Then they stomp it back out in hardcore angry fury.
One For the Boys
This smoker is another frantic angry hardcore number. It doesn't very much from the last two, but it is still quite potent. Plus, the fast paced, grinding riff later is very cool.
Hoods Up
More frantic jamming does this one up with style. The shouted group chorus is a nice touch. Once again there is no Earth shattering alteration here, but this is still strong.
End With An Ellipsis
Drums start this, then feedback guitar comes up. This one has a bit of a rap metal texture and a slower punk metal grind to it. It has a killer textures and enough of a change to keep it interesting. A couple alternative rock breaks are included mid song, the second one including a dramatic mellower ballad-like section. This is one of my favorites on the CD.
My Therapy
This is more fast paced hardcore. The group shouted vocal line and killer metal crunch guitar cause this one to be another major winner.
Don't Go
While the format is nothing new, this noisy thrash-like hardcore romp is another cool one. A bass driven break is a nice touch.
Wasted on the Young
This one has a Motorhead like sound on the main riff, but again it is no huge departure. It drops to a cool slower segment with a great dramatic texture that helps to do a nice job of elevating this one.
What Keeps Us Here
This one comes in rather gradually, but is the most like old school hardcore, feeling much of the piece like nearly completely out of control chaos. This one is enough of a change to really boost the disc, and I like it a lot.
Swan Song
Another dosage of the prescription that Bane has been dishing out for the bulk of the album, only by this point is it finally starting to wear a little thin. They do work in a cool more nu-metal approach midsong to generate some variety on this. I like the lyrics "When Armageddon's been locked and loaded / I will come back for you". The segment where those lyrics are repeated again and again is especially strong. This gives way to a ballad like modern rock section that ends it and the CD.
 
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