It really amazes me when I think about the fact that Converge are still around and going strong. Back in 2001 when they were touring on breakthrough fourth album Jane Doe, my friends and I thought of them as longtime veterans who had survived way longer than we ever expected of a hardcore band. And that was 16 years ago! This year, Converge released The Dusk In Us, which is their ninth album only if you take a particularly strict approach to their discography (it feels more like their 12th if you factor in split LPs, singles comps, etc). It’s hard to believe that a 25 year old hardcore band could still be at the top of their game, but one listen to the album should remove any doubt.
Jake Bannon’s rampaging snarl has continued to gain strength and ferocity over the band’s career, and the band’s current lineup, which has remained unchanged since that 2001 tour, operates like a well-oiled and totally brutal machine. These guys were maniacs the last time I caught them live, and have not slowed down at all with age, so chances are they’ll still rip your head off at the Broadberry this Friday night, just like it was still 2001. They’ll be bringing fellow Bostonians Pile with them, who created a sensation in the noise-rock world with their 2015 album You’re Better Than This and have continued to grow with this year’s followup, A Hairshirt of Purpose. DC straight edge group Give, who’ve used colorful flower-themed artwork and a strong melodic sensibility to defy the tough-guy stereotype associated with the straight edge scene, open things up, and make showing up on time a requirement.