Verse – From Anger And Rage

Rhode Island’s Verse are among the current crop of hardcore bands revitalizing a genre that has seemingly reached its proverbial wall. Along with counterparts Modern Life is War, Verse channel their aggression through a variety of influences that ultimately become the staple of this short record. While traditional hardcore relies heavily on more up-tempo reckless abandon, Verse coil their venom in a mix bag of mid-tempo riffs, slower meandering bass lines, and longer songs that contain a more gradual build-up of fury before its all unleashed. Much like the topical frustration and anger of the record, their approach to the music feels similar to (at least to some extent) controlled chaos- yet the urgency is no less potent.

Vocalist Sean Murphy does a stellar job at bringing rage and passion to the vocals; screaming and pillaging through songs about social disillusionment, rebellion, and as the title suggests, a bucket load of anger. Murphy comes across as especially biting in songs like “Start a Fire” and the fantastic “Follow Conform Repeat” where his vocal work, juxtaposed with songs unafraid to mix searing riffs with slow transitions, and a more experimental approach to hardcore songwriting, come off as something truly spectacular. And while the record itself is kept at a very tidy length (less than half an hour), Verse are not one to hold back on certain tracks either- some totaling more than 4 minutes while others clock in at under one.

There are moments through the album that appear subdued (the somewhat low key interlude-esque “No Rest in Leavenworth”) – but it gives the listener a false sense of reprieve from the underlying ferocity that permeates through the majority of From Anger And Rage. Fans of Bane, Burn, and most definitely Modern Life is War, will find plenty to like about Verse. They have in a short time encapsulated everything that is great about hardcore and given it a refreshing burst of energy that come through via less conventional methods. Perhaps the genre may at times seem a little jaded, but take comfort in knowing that contemporaries like Verse have what it takes to inject it with a bit of passion and creativity without sacrificing intensity and integrity.

(Rivalry Records)