Bane - _The Note_
(Equal Vision Records, 2005)
by: Aaron McKay (6.5 out of 10)
Imagine if you will one of Henry Rollins' rants, in a Jamey Jasta from Hatebreed story-telling vein, put to a punk soundtrack, and you have an idea of Bane's approach. Not that anyone needs a stylistic overview of these guys -- they've been around for four albums now. No question, Bane is one of the more effervescent punk outfits on the scene, and now they are back with a twenty-eight minute lesson in practiced punishment.

Frankly, Aaron Bedard's vocals are a smidgen of an acquired taste, but more than suit this Massachusetts outfit's high-intensity tightened hardcore approach. Mid-paced tempos reign supreme all throughout _The Note_, strengthened by doses of concentrated ferocity, separating this effort from the vast number of commonly used moshed-up breakdowns so widely used in the genre.

_The Note_ is arid and sanitized in the same way you instinctively know a Pro-Pain track when you hear it -- no consequential, earth-shattering developments on this effort. Spin after spin, the newest Bane -does- offer something that's enhanced with each listen, admittedly. "End With an Ellipsis" is an appropriately balanced punk / hardcore track and quite possibly my preferred pick from _The Note_. "My Therapy", the very next cut, puts me a lot in mind of Gang Green from the ol' _Older..._ era.

Bane are purists of the highest order. What's more, the CD inlay integrates a comic book-esque feel, and Bane captures in their music the proficient artistic ability laid out in visual form so evident in their professional packaging. _The Note_ concludes with "Swan Song", a highly charged and infectious track. One thing remains clear: while this album is no _Give Blood_, Bane has not expended their last breath!


(article published 23/7/2005)

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