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[Off The Record]
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Along with fellow Massholes Reach the Sky, Worcester’s Bane have helped define the sound of new-school hardcore over the last couple years. On their second full-length, the band continue to leaven their assault with stray bits of melody and lyrical introspection. They’ve scored an instant East Coast hardcore classic with "Ali Vs. Frazier I," the final track on the disc and a near-epic at 2:46. The song’s carpe diem message and insistent speed rush are familiar enough, but the airy breakdown and discordant guitar lurch that frame its Parthian shot ("Give more/Give everything/Give blood!") represent the genre at its finest and most dramatic.

The rest of the disc is more straightforward, with plenty of anthemic group shouts (see the exhilarating one-minute burnout "What Holds Us Down") and a few well-timed moments of peace and quiet. Frontman Aaron Bedard has the same kind of high-pitched yell as Reach the Sky’s Ian Larrabee, but his songs have more of a sarcastic edge. He’s prone to writing lengthy journal entries rather than actual verses and choruses, and the band’s tendency to cram too many parts into one song can be equally frustrating. But hardcore is life for these guys, and for the most part it shows in their music.

(Bane perform this Friday, November 2, at Massachusetts College of Art. Call 617-879-7000.)


Issue Date: November 1 - 8, 2001

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