Manic punk band Retox is an intelligent machine made of unstable energy. And in the NSFW (unless you work in a butcher shop, I guess) new video for “Mature Science,” the band throws on leather jackets to hold court on a classic musical topic, previously pondered by groups like Black Flag, NWA, and Body Count: the police.
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“Sadness Comes Home”
Being one of the most consistently devastating and innovative hardcore bands on the planet doesn’t come easy. In fact, it requires countless hours of hard work, a highly disciplined work ethic, and a level of stamina that even the youngest punks in the game can’t always muster.
For nearly 20 years, Salem, Massachusetts-based metalcore titan Converge has continually pushed its intense sound to new and progressively head-spinning extremes, hammering out 90-second explosions of speed and energy on one track, while delving into a gut-wrenching mixture of emotion and melody the next. Though expectations are best left wide open when approaching a new album from the group, two things remain constant: it’ll never be half-assed, and it most certainly won’t be boring.
Vocalist Jacob Bannon, frontman of Converge, balances a career of music, fine art, and business. His raw vocals belie a depth, beyond the bleeding paint and canvas of tattoos, explored in the short documentary “Rungs in a Ladder.”
A twelve-minute meditation on life, meaning, and intention, “Rungs in a Ladder” is an eloquent creative manifesto — the musings of someone fighting insecurity, staying active, and dealing with being out in the open when he really just wanted to “be a bass player or a drummer…to be completely anonymous.”
Check out “Rungs in a Ladder,” directed by Ian McFarland.
Last month ALARM presented its 50 favorite albums of 2012, an eclectic, rock-heavy selection of discs that were in steady rotation in our downtown-Chicago premises. Now, to give some love to tunes that were left out, we have our 50 (+5) favorite songs of last year — singles, B-sides, EP standouts, soundtrack cuts, and more.
The eighth full-length album from Converge is every bit the frenetic, neck-snapping metalcore monster that two decades of precedent could have promised. Yet even when sticking to some of its shortest, most explosive hardcore throw-downs, the Salem-based quartet maintains a dedication to craft and perfection.
Did you catch this last week? That’s right — it’s the first track and video from Converge’s All We Love We Leave Behind, a brand-new dose of hardcore pyrotechnics due out in a scant five weeks.
Syncing with the blazing tempo, director Max Moore’s cinematography offers ultra-low-attention-span cuts with a dark, blue-grey palette. Try to count the many quick tie-ins to vocalist Jacob Bannon’s cover art.