Since breaking out of the hardcore scene with 2001's savage masterpiece "Jane Doe", Converge have been the band to watch, pacesetters who've consistently set the next creative level in aggressive music. Their Epitaph debut, You Fail Me was named one of 2004's ten essential releases in Alternative Press. No Heroes, an album that brilliantly combines the textural sonics of You Fail Me with the brutal assault of Jane Doe. Converge are poised to follow in the footsteps of bands like Darkest Hour and Norma Jean.
It's hard to be a "real" punk rock band these days. And not so much because the music is 30-plus years old (such that by now it's essentially in the same place that jazz was in the '50s when it splintered into trad and bebop), or the ways that commerce has seeped so fully into every pore of the "scene." It's just that as hard and as intense and as loud and as pissed-off as you want to sound, someone else is louder, screamo-er, and just more capable of scaring your parents than you ever will be. Converge of course emerged in the early '90s as part of a mutant strain of neo-neo hardcore, with bands smart enough to inject elements of art-rock and metal. Their peers and followers might ride that sound to the top of the charts, but Converge utilizes the dynamics of that music to just get better all the time. No Heroes
is amazing. This is music with as much tension as the Golden Gate Bridge, and the band sounds harder, faster, and more intense even while (occasionally) slowing down. --Mike McGonigal