Give Blood

As a music genre, I had always thought of hardcore as the middle ground between punk and metal. The ideologies of punk and with the edge and aggressiveness of metal blended perfectly without teetering one way or the other. Generally these days when someone refers to a ‘hardcore’ band it’s more likely they’re speaking about a metalcore band, but real hardcore has always been about taking some of the better aspects (both musically and ideologically) from punk and metal and fusing them together, in my opinion.

That being said, I find Bane to be a perfect example of what I think a hardcore band is. Albeit, I am up ’till this, their third and newest album (Give Blood), unfamiliar with the band’s previous two releases. I know, shame on me. So you’ll find my thoughts objective and unhindered by long- time admiration for the band. Bane, like I said above, play hardcore, and they play it by the book. There are your vocals that are shouted, but certainly clear enough to hear almost each word accompanied by the occasional shout/sing along parts highlighting a verse or chorus. What’s being said is a great part about this band as well. The whole album has a positive feel through each song that is unmistakable. I think what makes this band standout from the rest of the bunch is sincerity. I believe what these guys are saying, there is conviction behind their words all throughout, which is a big aspect of hardcore and certainly Bane.

The music is innovative for being hardcore but not too much to broaden out into other areas. It has some mellower moments, a few builds and quieter parts that lace several songs throughout the CD. Track 3 (“Snakes Among Us”) has an intro that starts quietly then builds and gets louder until busting out into the song. The same formula can also be seen in track 9 (“The Big Gundown”) which is a nice break from the standard “1 – 2 – 3 – GO!” approach, it helps differentiate songs from each other. For the most part Bane stick to the main hardcore pace, not too fast, not too slow, but right in the mid-range. They do pick up the speed on more than a few occasions and oppositely slow down here and there. More often than not though the tempo is very upbeat and driving.

The album closes with a rad, somewhat slower, sing along shouting, “Give more, give everything, give blood!” These guys certainly have heart and it’s easy to tell.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Stacy Buchanan
October 30th, 2001


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