AlbumsNovember 29, 201113,455 views

Verse Aggression

01. The New Fury 02. Old Guards, New Methods 03. Suffering To Live, Scared of Love 04. Signals 05. Scream 06. Story of a Free Man - Chapter One: the End of Innocence 07. Story of a Free Man - Chapter Two: The Cold Return 08. Story of a Free Man - Chapter Three: Serenity 09. Blind Salvation 10. Unlearn 11. Earth and Stone 12. Sons and Daughters
2008 Bridge Nine Records
Our score 8

by Cory

Verse are without a doubt among the premier hardcore bands active today. Their first two albums stood out, even against the incredibly strong stable of hardcore acts their label, Rivalry Records, had amassed in a relatively short period of time. On their third album and first for hardcore's biggest brand name, Bridge Nine, Verse deliver enough of the same to satisfy the fans and a little bit extra. While their brand of hardcore has always been adept (if not entirely original) and subtly melodic (though never at the expense of intensity), Aggression is perhaps their most ambitious album yet. For the last few years, every hardcore band that wanted to prove their "growth" has slowed things down and moved away from tradition. It's certainly true that Aggression is Verse's slowest album overall, but it's still very much a hardcore record. Sean Murphy's lyrics have matured from the impassioned hardcore cliches of Rebuild and the railing against social injustice of From Anger and Rage into something far more sophisticated. Everyday struggles are examined through the eyes of three-dimensional human beings. Even the recommended reading list (yeah, that might be a bit pretentious...) has become fleshed out significantly from Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky to a far more diverse and slightly less obvious bunch of lefties. The album is divided neatly into three parts by the three track, seven and a half minute epic "Story of A Free Man." The first twelve minutes or so clearly outline the band's take on class warfare in modern society with a good bit of variety within the course of five tracks. "Story of a Free Man" paints a compelling portrait of a man whose life was turned upside down by the loss of his father in an unnamed foreign war. The disc's final third is slightly less focused, alternating between ruminations on religion and defiant calls to arms. Verse are most consistently successful when they stick to bread and butter hardcore, but moments in tracks like "Earth and Stone" and "Sons and Daughters" definitely reach a level of brilliance above anything the band has done before. This is Verse's best sounding record to date. Production duties were handled this time around by Jay Maas (The Carrier, Soul Control) and there's nothing to complain about except for an odd cymbal sound towards the end of "Old Guards, New Methods." The album's layout is more utilitarian than striking, but I did appreciate the simple and easy to read lyrics booklet. Bottom Line: Fans of Verse will undoubtedly welcome another fine addition to the band's impressive catalog. If you're into hardcore at all, or even just want to hear the best the genre has to offer, Aggression is well worth your time.


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chicken_gang_bang_ 9/15/2008 9:59:44 PM

first post gays

m00k_ 9/15/2008 10:00:51 PM

It's called Aggression. It's right on the cover...

anonymous 9/15/2008 10:03:32 PM

did you even listen to this? Story of a free man is about addiction.

J_ 9/15/2008 10:07:08 PM

3 comments, 2 eggs on face

Nick_ 9/15/2008 10:14:13 PM

great cd!

d3_ 9/15/2008 10:22:19 PM

one of my favorite albums of the year

bensy_ 9/16/2008 12:08:52 AM

*doubts furiously*

xomertax_ 9/16/2008 12:14:30 AM

Awesome album. The New Fury gives me chills

RODNEYKING_ 9/16/2008 1:57:36 AM

Sons And Daughters is already a Hot Water Music song. Listen to Hot Water Music.

Steve_Kerr_ 9/16/2008 8:04:55 AM

Easily one of my favorite records of the year.

Lame_ 9/16/2008 9:09:26 AM

this album is terrible, its a 13 year old guide to rebelling. linear notes are full of cookie cutter books about rebellion. the other two albums are great, this one just doesnt have it.

TheWood_ 9/16/2008 3:00:44 PM

I don't think asking people to read OF MICE AND MEN or 1984 is being pretentious.

erik_ 9/17/2008 6:08:09 AM

verse's first two albums were generally fast. this one's slow and boring. good job, gays.

j slim_ 9/17/2008 5:03:19 PM

this band is f*cking wonderful! it's refreshing to hear hardcore still being played like this.

bloodhammer_ 9/19/2008 8:51:17 PM

amazing cd

cantfakethepunk_ 9/21/2008 11:49:54 PM

GREATTTTTTTT ALBUM! one of my favorites to come out this year!!!

Lifeofhate_ 9/25/2008 12:16:34 PM

This band is good.I'm just not really into them.

THROWING_BRICKS_ 9/25/2008 7:00:09 PM

Verse is one of the cleanest bands live. not as good as their other cd's, but still pretty good.

DWAYNE_ 2/9/2009 12:05:41 PM