HERMITOLOGY



My name is Riley, and I play drums and write music for a band called Thrice.

This is where I ramble about music, sports, food, books, the interwebs and whatever else I deem worthy of sharing.

In addition to my ramblings here, I'm also the co-founder of a baseball-specific twitter feed podcast and blog with my good friend Ian, called Productive Outs.

I also have a bandcamp page and a soundcloud page that I'll be posting my own music and remixes on every once in a while.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions presented on this blog are mine and mine only, and do not reflect the position or views of Thrice as a whole.

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18 posts tagged Converge

Mutoid Man FULL SET at Vacation Vinyl - 03.09.2014 

Not a bad way to start your morning.

Given that Cave In and Converge are two of my favorite heavy bands of all-time, I knew that this Mutoid Man record was gonna be right up my alley, but this is just RIDICULOUSLY AWESOME. Better than I could have imagined.

Ben Koller is a wizard.

Holy crap. I love this. Can’t wait to hear the rest of it.

Not-So-Random Start: All Pigs Must Die, “Chaos Arise”

This is the opening track from APMD’s amazing new album Nothing Violates This Nature, which comes out Tuesday on Southern Lord. It’s a furious beast fueled by Ben Koller’s jaw-dropping drumming and Kevin Baker’s raging vocals. Highly recommended.

Buy Nothing Violates This Nature here.

Stream it here.

Random Start: Converge, “Hanging Moon”

A little Converge, a 20 oz. red eye and a brisk walk to Progressive Field. Not a bad start to a morning in Cleveland.

Buy You Fail Me.

Random Start: Converge, “Last Light”

I can’t imagine how insane crowds must go during the build that starts at 2:52. And the when that breakdown kick in at 3:08, whoa … utter chaos. I’ve got chills and my heart is racing just thinking about it. What a great song. It’s mean to be played LOUD (like basically all Converge songs), so please do so.

Buy You Fail Me here.

Random Start: Converge, “Eagles Become Vultures”

I’ve been working on learning “Homewrecker” from Jane Doe so that I can play it for fun with a few friends, and in doing so, I’ve been watching a ton of live footage of Converge. I’ve always been a huge fan of Ben Koller’s playing, and after watching a bunch of live clips, trying to dissect his parts and having All We Love We Leave Behind in heavy rotation of late, my appreciation of his playing has jumped to a whole new level. He’s freaking incredible.

Buy You Fail Me and other Converge releases here.

Random Start: Converge, “Thaw” (33 rpm vinyl rip)

Ever what it would sound like if Converge were a sludge band?

When we were on tour a couple of years ago, my buddy Aaron (formerly of O’ Brother) told me about the existence of a full album rip of Jane Doe played at 33 rpm (slow). He played me a track. My jaw dropped. I rushed to find it and download it, and good lord is it amazing. Beyond just being crushingly heavy, it’s a great way to get a better idea of all the crazy mind-bending stuff Ben Koller and Kurt Ballou play on one of the greatest heavy records of all-time.

Go find it.

Converge, All We Love We Leave Behind: Review

There’s no denying Converge’s influence on the current state of the independent heavy music scene. There’s a litany of facsimiles of facsimiles of bands who are third-rate rip offs of third-rate ripoffs of what Converge has expertly been doing for over two decades. The band has created a legacy by setting the bar for heavy, metal-influenced music with every record they’ve ever put out. Converge put out a record, blows minds and the rest of the genre struggles (and fails) to reach that bar. That’s just the way it is. Some genres have their lynchpin, and Converge is that lynchpin to the metal/thrash/hardcore genre. They hold it together while their contemporaries wither.

As a fan of the band for over a decade-and-a-half, I find myself consistently amazed by the band’s ability to stay angry and write aggressive music while being in their 30s, with two decades of road-hardened tenure under their collective belt. They’ve been unrelenting, and churned out the most pissed and abrasive music available for years. It seems like (depending on circumstances) 30 is about the age that most musicians sort of take a deep breath and give a hearty “WTF, I’m just a cog in this giant machine, and here’s how I feel about that”, or they soften and let their aggression and tempos become middling, or they move on to do other things, which is why it’s remarkable (and commendable) to see Converge approach their creative outlet with the same intensity and angst as they did when they released Petitioning The Empty Sky 16 years ago.

All We Love We Leave Behind is everything you’d want it to be; spazzy, heavy, raw, pissed as hell, (strangely) melodic, sludgy (at times) and energetic. It’s just another example of Converge pushing the boundaries of heavy music, besting their previous efforts and leaving their imitators in the dust (again).

The thing about this record that has left an indelible mark on me (through several listens) is the implementation of melody throughout. Guitarist Kurt Ballou’s playing on All We Love We Leave Behind is absolutely stellar. The serpentine riff in “A Glacial Place” just melts me. It’s dark and dissonant and hopeful amidst a slew of chaos and brutality. It’s life in riff form.

I also really appreciate how raw and honest the recording is. (Another hat tip to Kurt Ballou.) In an era when chopped and gridded and sampled has become the norm for a majority of heavy music (or most music, honestly), hearing something as real as this is wholly refreshing. This is a band of humans making music that is emotional and raw, and it friggin’ sounds like it. As it should. (Imitators take note.)

All We Love We Leave Behind is (obviously) a must-buy for Converge fans, and a must-buy for anyone who appreciates groundbreaking and bar-setting music of any genre. This is the best that heavy/agressive music has to offer. Again.

Buy the record here.

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