Give Blood

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Screaming has rarely, if ever, been as artful as it is on Give Blood. The Beantown hardcore merchants' sophomore platter is, simply put, intelligent, and not in the Fugazi/Bad Religion realm of academic snootiness, though you could certainly do worse than the impassioned social critiques presented admirably and less than amiably by Aaron Bedard. The acumen comes from expanding the boundaries of the (self) limited genre without removing its requisite hostility. The gang-chorus vocals recall the rugged, thugged-out mug-pulling of New York hardcore stalwarts, but the rhythm section is damn near jazzy, like Helmet could have been if it didn't lose its direction, and the soundscapes are atypical, atonal blasts of venom right out of the Henry Rollins (when he was still vital) school of hard knocks about the head and shoulders with a large stick; hear the break during "Some Come Running" for corrosive corroboration. Even with the expanded horizons, Bane never falls into a hyper-pretension trap. That's the great thing about this disc: If one comes merely expecting an ass-kicking, Give Blood dutifully provides the boot leather to posterior sans apologies. But scratch the surface and the innovation is just as obvious as the vitriol.

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