VERSE: Aggression: CD

Dudes are definitely onto something here. “Modern” hardcore that toes the line between the flattened, howling fury of Killing The Dream and the fuck it all finality of Modern Life Is War, Verse came out of left field and surprised the hell out of me. Smart-as-nails lyrics, musicianship that manages to convey both melody and a threadbare sense of desperation being juuust held at bay without losing any of its power or relentlessness. Hard to describe, which is generally the case with bands that are doing things right. I mean, the apple isn’t falling too far from the tree here—it’s still hardcore, right?—but all of the things that make it so easy to make fun of this genre (frenzied odes to being stabbed in the back, silly breakdowns, etc.) are absent here. And they’ve been replaced with challenging music, resounding intelligence, and, what the hell is this? A suggested reading list that includes William Blum, Pratap Chatterjee, and George Orwell? This shit’s good; don’t know how likely it is that the “average” Razorcake reader would dig it, but I’ve found myself playing it pretty frequently. Nice attack.

 –keith (Bridge Nine)