No Heroes

By Edward Blake

Converge are one of those bands I seem to have found out about too late, having only bought their last album You Fail Me and, despite being pretty confounded, basically loving it.

Their music is dark, that much I am sure about. The singer sounds like he’s discovering a new haemorrhoid every five seconds and the band provide a soundtrack akin to a paranoid dictator chasing his surgically removed brain around a lab made out of crushed angel skull bones. I am also sure that this album is much, much better than the last one and that the point of Converge’s large, diverse following is based upon their very obtuseness.

Put bluntly, they rock like a tiger on heat and embody the true spirit of punk better than almost any hardcore band I’ve ever heard (which isn’t a lot, to be honest). At times the sheer ‘in-your-face’ attitude can be wearing, while listening to during sex for example, but ultimately the very-tight rhythmic performance forces you back into a pleasurably submissive state. And the music’s quite good too. The epic Grim heart/Black Rose halfway through the album provides a welcome refrain, with it’s passionate guest vocal, and shows the band move easily into more progressive areas without losing the intensity of the rest of the album.

Really the only complaint I have about No Heroes is the quality of the production. I totally appreciate that the grittiness of Converge’s sound is a lot to do with the rough and ready production (which I’m sure is laboured over) but this album displays a bit too much ‘limiting-love’ for me. A lot of the dynamics of the music are greatly emphasised by this but what is lost at its expense is a fair proportion of atmosphere – but you know, it’s a minor grumble. Stick it on, jump around your bedroom for half an hour, you’ll feel fucking magnificent.
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