After classic LP Give Blood, fans of Boston hardcore outfit Bane must have been wondering what exactly could they do next" The Note, that's what. Even the most casual follower of modern hardcore clamoured to pick this up on its release, and it showed, remaining a top seller in a number of music stores and websites for several weeks.
This record sees some progression from Bane's previous albums. Don't worry, they haven't sold out to sell all those records, that's for sure, although The Note is recognisably softer in areas, such as the piano used in Pot Committed and the slower nature of the fifth and final tracks.
So, I put this CD into my walkman and had my breath taken away from me in the first few seconds of listening with Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda's intense opening, reminiscent of Speechless on Give Blood. The track that everyone should have heard by now somewhere, Pot Committed, is next and keeps the momentum going with a pounding rhythm and group shouts.
One of the best things about Bane is the distinctive nature of the vocals, truly breaking the mold in modern hardcore without sounding weird. Whilst taking a bit of time getting used to, it provides a certain edge to their records. The lyrics really cash in on Aaron Bedard's unique voice, the latter ranging from blistering wails to furious, rapid yells. There is not a single track on this album that does not exhibit the extraordinary musicianship of this band, which backed up by The Note's clean production.
End With An Ellipsis, the 5th track, shows a large change from what Bane fans are used to, with a melancholic, sluggish tribute to a dead friend of the band's. You couldn't call this song hardcore and it splits the album a bit. It's a letdown for the rest of the LP, although full pace is regained when My Therapy rolls around the corner, followed by anthemic Don't Go. Ripping vocals and drumming propel this album to an end with Wasted On The Young, which begins with an ear splitting riff and slows down as it approaches the final song on the album, Swan Song. Perhaps the best track on The Note, it is very similar to Ali Vs. Frazier, the final track on Give Blood. Both the songs are just as epic and suited to a last track on a great album.
Overall, this is another excellent Bane release, although I feel that Give Blood is still their best. A departure from their older stuff is definitely seen here with End With An Ellipsis and such. However, it's still better than most stuff out there and certainly lived up to its expectations. A great LP although it would have had to have been something special to top Give Blood.
Wasted On The Young