Wear Your Wounds, the ethereal and emotional project from Converge’s Jacob Bannon, recently concluded their tour with New York City’s metallic industrial outfit Uniform. We caught the second-to-last show at Brooklyn’s Saint Vitus bar where a packed Friday night crowd enjoyed a bill of progressive heavy music.
Blame God started the night with a raw set of sludgy grind music. As the band was playing, I noticed that one of its members actually had a Jane Doe tattoo. On any given night, the icon that graced the cover of Converge’s seminal hardcore release can be seen on any number of jackets, shirts, or body parts at Saint Vitus. As I was chatting with a new friend following Blame God’s performance, he actually told me that he too has the Jane Doe tattoo, and me on his shoulder that dons it.
At the other end of the bar, Bannon was posted up at the Wear Your Wounds merch table, where – in addition to WYW LPs and t-shirts – he was selling artist prints and books. His career as a visual artist has rivaled his output as the singer in one of hardcore/metal’s most influential projects, and despite an incredibly busy and fruitful schedule, he’s jumpstarted this new band with an LP in 2017 and another due in July of this year.
Wear Your Wounds set consisted of mostly new material, and plenty of prefacing words from Bannon who was candid in explaining the dark and uncomfortable place many of these songs stemmed from. Some of them have been shelved for up to 12 years, for which Bannon attributes the uneasiness in sharing material that is this personal. Nevertheless, the band shredded through 45 minutes of post-metal chalk-full of intense counter-melodies and solos from the punishing three-guitarist lineup, featuring The Red Chord’s Mike McKenzie, Twitching Tongues’ Sean Martin, and fellow Converge member Kurt Ballou. We can’t wait for the new album to release and to hear these songs again, but in the mean time it was a memorable treat to hear them for the first time in this intimate setting.
Uniform followed, and countered WYW often beautiful and somber style with something a bit more punishing and brutal. The headliner actually played a shorter set than their predecessor, but made every minute count in their balls-to-the-wall display of industrial-tinged, metallic punk. With a live drummer in tow, the songs absolutely pounded as screamer Michael Berdan paraded around the stage like an absolutely savage madman. It was a show that won’t soon be forgotten with a couple of incredible talents in the heavy music world.