We are proud to announce
now available for pre-order in the Hydra Head Shop at Blue Collar Distro.
Caring & Killing: The Early Years 1991-1994
- First time on vinyl ever!
- Converge's early recordings finally available again after being out of print for years.
- New audio mastered by Alan Douches.
- Packaging designed by Jacob Bannon with artwork by Aaron Turner.
- 2xLP in gatefold sleeve with 3 different colored vinyl versions.
For anyone remotely familiar with the heavy music underground of the last two decades, Converge needs no introduction. They are recognized as one of the most ferociously consistent, challenging and influential bands within and beyond their realm. Like other long-running institutions Neurosis, Sonic Youth, The Melvins, or Fugazi, Converge was born from the wellspring of punk and hardcore, quickly mutating into something all together different - an aural beast of their own design. Their sound has since fluctuated and evolved over a long and industrious career, but even in their earliest days the hallmarks of their sound were there - whiplash dynamics, floor-stomping breakdowns, brittle heart-rending melodies and a torrential sense of momentum.
The collection of Caring & Killing captures Converge in their formative years, spanning the timeframe of 1991-1994 . This period was extremely productive for the band, generating the debut full length Halo in a Haystack, a slew of compilation appearances and split EPs, as well as multiple demo sessions. The resultant tracks were unpredictable - rageful and delicate, catchy and obtuse. Despite the harsh juxtaposition of opposing elements, it was clear Converge possessed the will and the wit to construct cohesive songs from the maelstrom, ones that proved to be powerfully charismatic in their idiosyncratic nature. These early anthems are certainly more ungainly than those of present day Converge , but they burn with the same vitality and punishing drive for which the band is known and loved. These incendiary sermons are as utterly convincing now as upon the day of their first iteration, and from them a cult was born.
The mid-1990s were a pretty bleak period for grindcore. The genre's progenitors had either retired into their dotage or were aimlessly wallowing in creative bankruptcy.
A change was needed, and New Jersey upstarts Discordance Axis were about to upend 15 years of grindcore tradition and establish the template for 21st Century extremity. Where first album Ulterior owed obvious debts to their musical forerunners,Discordance Axis found their unique voice on 1997's Jouhou (Japanese for "Information"), turning in 18 minutes of sleek, cyberpunked grind that directly addressed human frailty and emotions rather than recycling the same political jeremiads and empty slogans.
Unlike the first wave of grind, which owed obvious debts to '80s hardcore, Discordance Axissounded fresh and modern, buoyed by guitarist Rob Marton's forward thinking playing, which melded fleet-fingered technique with streamlined, pinpoint aggression. Marton was influenced as much by Voivod as he was by Napalm Death, and he was one of the few grindcore guitarist whose compositions revolved around actual riffs that were driven by Dave Witte's frenetic, pinpoint drumming. Added to that, Jon Chang introduced a whole new lexicon that appropriated themes and images from manga, science fiction and cartoons and turned them into metaphors for loss, loneliness and alienation, topics that grindcore had never seriously addressed. Together, the trio were the first to make a bid for grindcore as a capital-A Art form. There was more to their blastbeating than a bunch of kids mouthing off at the world.
- Andrew Childers, Grind and Punishment
Pre-Order - $23.99