On Spec 3: Bane – The Note
Bane is an American hardcore punk band, active 1995-2016, which was a great run given how many bands flame out quickly. I grabbed this for the cool comic book-style artwork, and because it just looked like a punk album. As I read about the band more, I knew I had to love them more because two of their members are named Aaron. It’s a good name (Ed: I may be biased).
Anyway, Aaron Dalbec was in Converge, and Bane was intended as a sideproject for him and for Aaron Bedard (of Backbone), but after playing a while as Gateway, away they went. The band was known for integrity, meaningful lyrics, and for uncompromising hardcore punk. Many in the group (they had several players come and go) claimed the straight edge.
Reviews of this 2005 album seem to say it’s great because it’s Bane, but it’s maybe not the album the fans return to very often. It’s said that this one had too many slower bits, too many breakdowns, it wasn’t (for some) a true hardcore album. Well, I guess for some people who are holier hardcore than thou, they like the earlier stuff by the band better. Fair play.
But what I heard was a well-realized, heavy and pounding album. The breakdowns, I felt, were very well done and well-placed. They were, like in End With An Ellipsis, beautiful, ear-catching intermissions in the middle of the swaying pummeling chaos. There’s no questioning that the band is tight, and they have a knack for riffs that cut like knives. Bedard’s vocals are shouted/howled with aggression but also musicality. One cool song here is the last track, titled (natch) Swan Song. It’s like an accumulation of all the best bits from the whole album, and a great way to end an album that spent the previous nine tracks trying to crush your skull.
This was really satisfying. If you like hardcore punk and wanna get your mayhem on, check out Bane.
Swan Song – Lyrics (found online):
Today won’t be like yesterday
The bell tolls for an hour straight
Screaming mothers chase their children down
Fathers tear out their eyes
As the city topples to the ground
Outside the streets are in a panic
Truth sellers jump from tall, tall ledges
No sign of Christ with a sword in his mouth
Beneath the blood red sky I’ll sit and laugh with you tonight
This is a promise I made to you
I’ll be right there
I’ll be right next to you
When the trumpets blare the loudest and cannons roar
All the trains that once came for you
Spill off the tracks floor
All your horrors they multiply
And you realize your fears
I’ll block your ears with both of my hands
Kiss away the tears
When armageddon’s been locked and loaded
I will come back for you…