Live: Converge And Rorschach Turn (Le) Poisson Rouge Into A Sweaty Basement

Rorschach w/Converge, Indecision, Xaddax
(le) Poisson Rouge
Saturday, May 26

Better than: Anything you would rightly expect of a hardcore show at (le) Poisson Rouge

Cleared of tables and chairs, (le) Poisson Rouge restores some of its character as a basement, ideal staging for a hardcore show even as it remains a basement with bottle service. Saturday, cardinal-metalcore band Converge supported the even more cardinal Rorschach in the red-edged subterranean space and for a moment one's knowledge of the venue's fundamental weirdness slipped away.

"We wouldn't be here without Rorschach," Converge singer Jacob Bannon said, pacing around the stage with light determination. In the early '90s Rorscach were among the first bands to mix metal and hardcore in a not-Slayer way; the songs are terse and baldly-arranged but there's a heaving, doomy swing to it all. People heard this and perceived a new path opening up to them.

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The Year In Hardcore Circa 2010, Featuring OFF!, Trash Talk, Fucked Up, and More

On top of our growing 2010 year in review coverage, we've asked some pals to help out, too. Below, Pitchfork/Status Ain't Hood writer Tom Breihan looks back at the year in hardcore.

OFF! at L.A.'s 6th St. Warehouse. Photo by Sean Peterson.
Let's talk for a minute about this idea: Hardcore in 2010, in a lot of ways, has become the white suburban skate rat's version of the blues. The parallels are there if you look for them. And this year has afforded all kinds of opportunities to contemplate the genre again, as its just had one of its most fertile periods--with new records from OFF!, Trash Talk, and more--in a long, long time. Both hardcore and the blues are intense, direct, basic forms, both created by people who didn't have a whole lot else going on in their lives. You can recognize either one from a mile away, and hardcore's hyperspeed two-chord blare is as durable and distinct, in its way, as the 12-bar chord pattern. Within hardcore, plenty of bands-- Converge, say-- do Stonesy/Hendrixy things with the genre, pushing it in all sorts of directions. And actually, those restless experimenters were there from the beginning; think Bad Brains or Big Boys or X. But hardcore doesn't rely on that sort of experimentation. Hardcore records aren't typically judged on how far they push the genre forward; they're judged on how completely they inhabit the form. If a hardcore band can hammer their style hard enough, if they can play with fury and urgency and a vague sense of danger, then they're a good hardcore band.

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Stream Converge's Axe to Fall

Categories: Converge, Featured

It's their seventh album, out next week on Epitaph, described by one SOTC buddy as "Converge from the future," which gets at the band's ever growing monster tech virtuosity but not the record's old-fashioned ability to turn minds to ashes. It's streaming on MySpace--start with "Dark Horse" or "Worms Will Feed" and tell us we're wrong. The band is on tour now; they touch down in NYC for two Hammerstein dates October 29th and 30th, where they'll share a bill with the murderers row of Mastodon, Dethklok, and High On Fire. Tickets here.

News Roundup: Animal Collective's Fall Be Kind EP Details, Converge's Axe to Fall Leak, New Arcade Fire?

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--Animal Collective's Fall Be Kind EP turns out to be very real: AC's Avey Tare confirms and previews the record over at Pitchfork, where he specifies a tracklist and explains: "The vibe is a little bit darker, I'd say-- not in terms of the sound, maybe. Well, the melodies are definitely darker. It's not abrasive dark or anything, but I think the mood of it has just a little bit more of a nighttime, kind of dark, sad vibe... It's a little bit more washy and kind of orchestral." Jon Dolan once had a great riff on interviews like this one. Anyway, the record's due on Domino in December, and Gorilla Vs. Bear has mp3s of the BBC versions of EP tracks "What Would I Want? Sky" and "On A Highway."

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