I think I've read more hyped up reviews of Verse's third album Aggression than I've actually listened to it. I keep seeing a reoccurring trend in these reviews on how Verse is a breath of fresh air in a rather stagnant scene when it comes to popular hardcore bands. There seems to be an influx of hardcore that would rather have fifteen different t-shirts before they even have 7" out, but not Verse. Verse is all about the heart and being true. Verse flies in the face of pseudo tough guy hardcore full of kids that are buying into thug mentality rather than the actual hardcore community.
I don't agree with those reviews. I think they are plenty of hardcore bands out there that still give a fuck and are putting out quality records for labels like Deathwish and Verse's new home, Bridge Nine. Verse just happens to be the band that people think of when they think of sincere, emotional hardcore. One cannot overlook the fact that Verse is the band out there these days that people feel that it's perfectly alright to get all worked up about the band to the point of tears. People are once again crying at shows, just like they did when Boy Set Fire played and Rites of Spring before them. Verse is just one of those bands. And although it's nothing new, it is something that the hardcore scene has severely lacked in the last decade or so. I'm not saying there should be more bands that people weep over, but there should be bands that people feel such an attachment to that they will shed a few tears when they see the band play.
The other thing that sets Verse apart from other hardcore bands is the fact that they come off political. Both Aggression and their previous effort From Anger and Rage are chock full of vague lyrics about revolution, big business, and not being silenced. Verse even gives you a reading list of books to check out. This is also all well and good but once again nothing new to this old fart. However, I'd rather hear a band sing about something besides misplaced anger, girlfriends, and false bravado. Nevertheless, I think Verse would be more effective if they actually addressed issues in their songs inside of just hinting at political upheaval. I understand the political is always personal but does it also have to be impersonal? Information and stalwart convictions lead people to want to check out why you have all your undies all in a bundle. Think of all the kids that went vegan after Earth Crisis came out swinging with lyrics about animal liberation. I've never seen Verse live, so maybe the band talks in between songs about what they are all about. However, Aggression tells me nothing besides that I should check out a books by Gore Vidal and Noam Chomsky.
What it all boils down to is the music though. Verse is an effective band musically with songs birthed through hardcore's own primal aggression that are infused with a keen sense of melody and sudden bursts of speed. A great many of the tracks on Aggression attack you like a tidal wave as it ebbs and flows with noise that builds up into powerful crescendos of raw nerve exposed rampage. Everything on the album comes off authentic and genuine. You can tell Verse put a lot of thought into Aggression and it shows on every aspect from the songs themselves to the layout of the booklet.
To me Verse are nothing new, but good at what they do. I would recommend Aggression to anyone new to hardcore and wants to know what it is all about. This album might considered a classic a few years down the road and only time can tell. However right now, this is Verse's time and it seems like they are going to make most of it. Verse does breath life into hardcore with every chord struck, every lyric screamed, and every thump of the bass drum. Verse may not be the band that everyone thinks is going to save hardcore, but they surely aren't killing it.
Posted May 23, 2012, 9:30 a.m.
Reformed Verse has announced that their fourth album, Bitter Clarity, Uncommon Grace, will be available via Bridge Nine Records on July 17, 2012. The Providence, RI band regrouped in late ...
Posted March 16, 2012, 12:54 p.m.
Bridge Nine has announced that the recently reformed Verse has entered the studio in Pawtucket, RI to record their third album, Bitter Clarity, Uncommon Grace. The group reunited in late ...
Posted April 14, 2009, 11:39 a.m.
Verse have announced their final shows together as a band for early this Summer. The band released Aggression last year and announced their breakup earlier this year. The shows are ...
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