2001 Equal Vision Records
The first words sung on this album are "Fuck yeah" and honestly, that's pretty much what Give Blood is, one big fuck yeah! This is hardcore in its purest form, devoid of European metal influences, indecipherable vocals, mathrock technicality, and all of the other things that seem to have diluted modern hardcore. Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of all of that stuff at times, but once in a while it's nice to hear some good old-fashioned hardcore. Not surprisingly, the vocals are the real centerpiece of Bane. With his slightly out of tune delivery, Aaron spits venom with thick, clear vocals, sometimes adding a bit of half-ass singing here and there. Bane has a knack for conveying complex topics with simplistic, understandable, and catchy lyrics. Here's a sample verse from "Snakes Among Us": so when you get off your happy little bus with your happy little smiles with your happy little instruments that never go our of tune we will be fucking up and missing words following you in a van that we had to beg to start Beyond the fact the lyrics are great in content, quite simply, this stuff is also easy to sing along with. Have you ever listened to a CD enough times to learn the words and then actually read the lyrics, only to learn that you had them all wrong I was startled to see that everything I was mouthing was in-fact correct. What a pleasant surprise. The first three songs on here are great. "Speechless" combines thick guitars, plenty of tempo changes, and passionate lyrics all in just over a minute. The second track "Some Came Running" finds Bane playing noticeably slower than they have on previous efforts and this is one of the heavier tunes on Give Blood. Good stuff. Next up is "Snakes Among Us" (see lyrics above), a rant seemingly directed at bands that aren't willing, or don't have to, pay their dues. The song builds nicely before boiling over towards the end. As usual, Bane strikes just the right balance of melody and aggression on this effort. There's definitely more aggression though, after all, this is a hardcore record. And if you're a frequent visitor to Bane's live shows, then watch the pit get going during "What Holds Us Down" and "Ante Up" (the shout-alongs rule), which both feature some monster breakdowns. Once again, fuck yeah! Arguably, the best song on Give Blood is "Sunflower's and Sunset's", a blistering and dynamic track with more great lyrics. Again Bane demonstrates their ability to take simple grooves and spice them up effectively with subtle bits here and there. It's funny how Bane can be super heavy at times, but everything comes across with a positive vibe. I can think of no other band that's able to pull this off so easily. The album ends fittingly with a personal call-to-arms on "Ali v. Frazier I". The song appropriately ends with a thoughtful warning - "Give more. Give everything. Give blood." The lyrics on Give Blood loosely resemble a motivational speech of sorts. I don't generally sit down and read lyric booklets all the way through, but I did this time. Some listeners may find these tales a bit melodramatic, and Bane is definitely walking a thin line in this area, but once again, they manage to come away unscathed in my book. Not suprisingly, the production on Give Blood is great. The whole mix is pretty much in-your-face, but the music's given just enough room to breath, so it doesn't come across as stiff or stale. Brian McTernan has to be considered one of the top producers out there today. I have yet to hear a bad production job from him. Bottom Line: There's been much hype over this record during the past few weeks, and rightly so. I honestly haven't been the biggest Bane fan in the past. It's not that I disliked them. They just happened to be one of those bands that I never got a chance to listen to much. But now that I've really spent some quality time with their music, consider me converted. Quite simply, this is a must-own for any fan of hardcore. Give more, give everything, give blood. Fuck yeah.
Comments (6) post new comment
Adam_ 9/22/2004 10:57:59 AM
This is a true hardcore band they take it back to the beggining it awsome
jon_ 10/22/2004 12:09:35 PM
this band is amazing, ever since i first heard them I was amazed. Im going to pick this cd up this weekend and while im at it. Im getting some KYI cd's