Verse is an enigma to the hardcore genre. Obviously, any true hardcore fan must have their name comfortably situated in their musical brains, but for the most part Verse really are nothing special when it comes to the execution of their music. They play basic modern hardcore that other bands before had already pioneered, they feature your basic, yet exceptionally well done, shouted vocals that convey the message of angst and emotion quite a bit better than any other hardcore band. But Verse are still considered nothing short of an absolute for the genre. Maybe it is their angst and emotion that they convey so well, not just in vocalist Sean Murphy alone, but the entire band somehow correctly finds the right frequency to touch off that nerve in the listener that makes them relive their better days, those outlets for letting out all of one’s emotion.
From Anger And Rage is often a passed by album. When most think of Verse, the modern hardcore band, even veterans of the genre will only cite Aggression as Verse's star album. In all honesty, they are somewhat true. But for those who actually wish to delve further into Verses discography, they will be pleasantly surprised, as I was, to find out that their previous album actually holds up to the stardom that Aggression has, and at points, even surpassing it.
From Anger And Rage tends to be a misleading title. While for some this might not be, for myself the title makes me think of Ceremony ‘Violence Violence’-era aggressive hardcore that is spastic, short and fairly abrupt and brutal in its delivery. Yet, keeping with the basic modern hardcore approach, Verse does not do this in From Anger And Rage. Sure, songs like ‘Weather to a Stone
’, ‘Standing in the Ashes
’, and ‘Stolen
’ showcase the niches of hardcore that feature short tracks keep it sweet and to the point, but Verse excel in use of melody and song structure that Defeater and Modern Life is War uses that makes them so valid in the modern hardcore scene. ‘From Anger and Rage
’, ‘We Were Here
’, and ‘Follow Conform Repeat
’ are stellar tracks that might even outshine most of the songs that are featured on Verse's final album that most seem to put on such a high pedestal. From Anger And Rage is not simply an album that should be looked over simply as ‘Verse finding their niche before Aggression’. No, it is still just as relevant at that.
Yet From Anger And Rage still suffers from minor problems that keep it from becoming the ‘perfect album that no one cares to find out about’. Aggression saw Verse finally channeling all their energy and emotion and crafting it into a semi-concept album of politics, emotion and channeled anger. On From Anger And Rage, all that energy and angst is still present, just scatterbrained throughout. On this album, Verse hasn’t quite found the medium for their sound, and this equivocates to a fairly messy and disorganized album that can be easily looked past for the common bro, but modern hardcore enthusiasts will be quick to point out these flaws and probably turned off at the sound of it.
Verse know (knew) how to craft excellent hardcore. While most will constantly go back to the familiar territory of Aggression, you are indeed selling yourself short if you miss out on From Anger And Rage. While a bit more disorganized and a little harder to ‘click’, the same energy and emotion felt on Aggression is actively felt on each song on From Anger And Rage. Do yourself a favor and pick this album up, do not let the memory of Verse become that of a band that got lucky on one album.