Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Bannon Ballads

So apropos of nothing but listening to Axe To Fall at my library job the other night for the 5th time or so and finally liking the whole thing, save for I think "Losing Battle", which was kind of too redundant, I've put together an EP of the now standard "6-9 minute long/brooding song with actual singing to break up the dissonance and remind you that we're eclectic and listen to Tom Waits and Neurosis in addition to Rorschach and Slayer" pieces from the last three Converge records, arranged chronologically.

The arrangement works that way both in terms of the actual listening experience and the actual placement of these songs on their respective records. "In Her Shadow" is right in the middle of You Fail Me, as is "Grim Heart/Black Rose" (I still hate that title) from No Heroes. "Cruel Bloom" and "Wretched World" cap off Axe To Fall and really do sound like a Tom Waits/Neurosis joint composition filtered through Converge's sound. Their respective placement at the end of the new record, and the finality and sort of free-falling catharsis that comes at the end of the songs is fitting to close off the 4-track EP.

Its also essentially a "Best Of", as I purposefully left out the older Converge ballad-y/pensive tracks they released pre-jane Doe. In particular, "Ten Cents", a god-fucking-awful song that I guess was their attempt at a 90's emo jawn. Problem was, it was stuck in second half of an absolutely discordant and defining record, When Forever Comes Crashing. That album is the spazziest and heaviest Converge album, and its still jarring to have this great record, which essentially sounds like Cave-In's Until Your Heart Stops with better songwriting and less metal, halted for the 4-minute abortion that is "Ten Cents". "Ten Cents" shows that this side of the band has been in development for a long time, going back to the songs on Caring and Killing, but there weren't really good
at it until You Fail Me. Thankfully, Jane Doe doesn't have any ballads so there isn't a "Ten More Cents" to mar that record as well.

Hopefully Blogspot doesn't DELETE FUCKING EVERYTHING because of this.




raythedestroyer said...

i have a similar playlist of slower more pensive converge songs but i also include the drawn out doomy songs like Jane Doe, You Fail Me & Plagues. Have you heard jake bannon's solo record does it sound like any of these songs or is it on some other other shit?

Christopher said...

I remember checking out Supermachiner and Dear Lover, the original Converge side projects (not counting Bane and Doomriders), back before they streamlined their website and took off a lot of the more bandwith-intensive content and not thinking much of it but seeing what they were trying for. Bannon's solo 7" was on sale at last spring's tour dates but I didn't want to drop cash on something like that and I'm still waiting to find rips of the Vinyl online to find out what it sounded like.

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Daniel! said...

Posted about this on my blog, just so you know. good idea.