Converge / Pile / Give at Union Transfer
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Five years since their last release, Converge return with The Dusk In Us: a brutal but beautiful album that shows the band’s artistic evolution while still capturing their
classic sound. The ninth full-length from the Boston-based heavy-music innovators—vocalist Jacob Bannon, guitarist Kurt Ballou, bassist Nate Newton, and drummer Ben Koller—The Dusk In Us proves to be both dark and hopeful, abrasive and melodic, devastating and powerfully cathartic.
In recording The Dusk In Us, Converge once again worked in Ballou’s renowned Godcity Studios in Salem, Massachusetts. Produced by the band and mixed by Ballou, the album matches its raw energy with a subculture-crossing inventiveness that’s earned Converge longtime reverence within the punk, metal, and hardcore scenes. One of Converge’s most dynamic and avant-garde albums to date, The Dusk In Us unfolds with an uncompromising honesty born from “writing about experiences in my life and working through the complexities of those things through song,” as Bannon explains.
On the album-opening “A Single Tear,” pummeling drums and caustic riffs form the backdrop to strikingly vulnerable lyrics like “When I held you for the first time/I knew I had to survive.” (“‘A Single Tear’ is about becoming a parent, and the perspective and strength it can give,” Bannon notes.) With its abrasive guitar work and menacing undertones, “Under Duress” brings a tortured howl to lyrics channeling what Bannon describes as “my emotional reaction to the complex world in which we live.” A frenzied blast of pure fury, “I Can Tell You About Pain” offers what NPR recently hailed as “hardcore-fueled extreme music that simultaneously elevates and destroys.” And on the seven-minute-plus title track to The Dusk in Us, Converge deliver a slow-building, quietly haunting epic of ethereal beauty.
Converge formed in Massachusetts in 1990, then made their debut with 1994’s Halo in a Haystack. Soon regarded as pioneers within the aggressive music arena, the band had a major breakthrough with their landmark album Jane Doe—a 2001 release praised as “iconic” by the A.V. Club (who also noted that Jane Doe “reaches canonical status with every re-listen”). The Dusk In Us arrives as the follow-up to 2012’s All We Love We Leave Behind, an album that Consequence Of Sound called “as skull-cleaving as it is beautiful” and that made its way onto Pitchfork’s Best New Music list.
While The Dusk In Us finds Converge defying boundaries and pushing into new sonic terrain, it’s also a natural progression for a band that’s long thrived on making music that both challenges and connects. “Our only goal is to create something that moves us and resonates with us emotionally,” says Bannon. “For us, it’s simply a new album about new chapters in our lives. We are a very ‘human’ band—always have been—and our songs are all rooted in our real-life experiences. The Dusk In Us is that new chapter, just as previous records were before that.”
Pile is a rock band from Boston, Massachusetts. Started as a solo project by Rick Maguire back in 2007, Pile released ‘Demonstration,’ a 10 song demo and ‘Jerk Routine’ in 2008 before expanding their line-up. Wanting to be able to tour on the material with a band, Maguire attempted to find some other players. After some shuffling, the band found a cohesive line-up with Kris Kuss (drums), Matt Becker (guitar), Matt Connery (bass) and Maguire (guitar, vocals). In the eight years since, Pile has released several acclaimed albums, ‘Magic isn’t Real’ (2010), ‘Dripping’ (2012), and last year’s highly praised ‘You’re Better Than This’ (2015), in addition to two highly sought after EP’s. Since coming together as a full band in 2009, Pile have toured as much as their lives collectively allow, playing over 500 shows spread out over the US, Canada, the UK and Europe. Pile are set to release their highly anticipated new album early next year.
Well known as “your favorite band’s favorite band” and for a tireless work ethic, Pile have earned their following from years of DIY touring and a humble approach to uncompromising performances. Never afraid to switch styles, Pile’s music has morphed over the years, embracing both the ferocious and gentle sides of punk, indie, folk, and noise rock, delivering their own brand of gnarled intensity.
In addition to the full band experience, Pile’s Rick Maguire also continues to play solo sets consisting of the old material that started the band, full band songs re-imagined in stripped down versions, and new / barely finished material. Intimate and cathartic, watching Maguire perform solo is a beast of a different nature, equally incredible and undeniably Pile.
GIVE was conceived at the tail end of 2008 and has done very little resting since then. Over the course of extensive touring and releasing two 12"s, a half dozen 7"s plus a cassette, GIVE have proved themselves as a band who are not content to rest either physically or artistically. Sonically, they reference that sweet spot of exploration where the freshman class of Revelation artists dared to trespass in their later days. For those who want to go beyond the tangible to achieve the eternal high, we direct you to your new favorite band: GIVE.
1026 Spring Garden St.
Philadelphia, PA, 19123