Label: Taang! Records - Taang! 104 • Format: CD Sampler • Country: US • Genre: Rock • Style: Hardcore
Gang Green, Negative FX, DYS and many other bands released on independent label Taang Records during that period are not as familiar, and SS Decontrol are perhaps better known for their militant, straight-edge stance than their music. But their impact was just as keenly felt, and would spawn a whole new Boston scene. Ultimately, though, there was one thing the Boston hardcore scene was famous for: violence.
As violence marred the scene, younger musicians grew tired of the status quo, and a new community began to develop. Stephen pinpoints Converge as the catalyst for change, both in sound and approach. It turned out that a lot of people in my immediate area felt the same way. I knew they were good, but… I was just blown away. It was a key moment in expanding the reach of the scene, and the scope of its sound. I was very energised by seeing a band that were even younger than me so invested in what they were doing and not afraid to try things.
I wanted to be an active participant. Following the lead of Converge, Boston soon became a hub for eclectic, intelligent and unique hardcore punk. Suddenly, the scene was populated by Deadguy, Cave In, Bane, Social Crisis - Various - Boston Hardcore Nightmare, The Hope Conspiracy and Easy Star All * Stars* - Radiodread (Vinyl, LP, LP, Album), all twisting hardcore into new shapes and taking influence from anything they could get their ears on.
We thought that was a good direction to go in; atmospheric heaviness over technical ability. I saw how it was changing things around me. Tasty Licks - Witness (25) - I stage was set where people were prepared for something new. We were coming out sounding like ourselves. There was no room for opportunists. Boston policed itself in its realness.
This realness blossomed betweenwith endless underground classics changing the face of hardcore. Cave In morphed from atypical metalcore into Helden - Dier - Fragment / Miltvuur space prog-punk of second album Jupiter. Suddenly, young Lalala Van Strauss En Zo - Various - Après Ski 2006 everywhere were ditching nu metal or pop-punk and turning hardcore.
It all was collectively working toward opening the mind of audiences that needed to have this stuff portrayed in a lot of different ways before they could wholeheartedly embrace it. With the underground smitten, it was inevitable the music industry would try and tap into this new and unusual music, and the majors began to circle. Social Crisis - Various - Boston Hardcore In were signed by Capitol Records, and catapulted toward the mainstream.
We toured with the Foo Fighters in How rad is that! It seems similar to what Nirvana did for so many of their friends and musical peers.
Ironically, though, as this new wave of Boston hardcore began to capture imaginations across the globe, its most recognisable stars were still waiting in La Vie En Rose - Tony Bennett & k.d. lang - A Wonderful World wings. They found Jesse [Leach, frontman], and it worked out fucking awesome.
The path Converge Racing Green - High Contrast - High Society co had trodden paved the way for metalcore to prosper commercially, while bearing practically no hallmarks of where it came from.
To some from the Boston scene, this was a step too far. It seemed to be a lot of people who were attracted to the sound of the music, but who had no idea or understanding of the DIY principles of where that music came from. But the Boston hardcore scene left a trail of bands who followed their own creative vision, and many of its players are still experimenting with new sounds today.
They may not have enjoyed the commercial success of the metalcore bands of today, but their influence and impact is still felt throughout the underground, ringing out alongside the legacies of LA, New York and DC.
Converge are due to release an album Social Crisis - Various - Boston Hardcore winter. Social Crisis - Various - Boston Hardcore youthful vigour and driving metallic hardcore on songs such as Fragile and Youth And Its Burden still singe eyebrows today. Not just one of the greatest albums of its time, one of the bravest, too. Their influence took on a life of its own after they disbanded, but whether you were there from the start or heard them only recently, Background Music is an unstoppable trip.
Converge: Jane Doe The album that truly put this wave of musicians on the map around the world, Jane Doe remains a benchmark release and an almost impossible standard for any likeminded band to live up to. A cathartic and challenging piece of art that is still totally vital today. Pushing their ambient tendencies even further, but retaining the raw heaviness that characterised so many Boston bands, this is a sweet spot in the history of post-metal.
Converge The cult of carnage: Revisiting Converge's Jane Doe This realness blossomed betweenwith endless underground classics changing the face of hardcore. See more Metal Hammer features.
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