Spewing the mantra "louder, harder and faster," hardcore emerged from a synthesis of punk rock and heavy metal, a clash of genres striving to reclaim the self-produced authenticity of its unaffected predecessors.
Those DIY ethics — the unapologetic tenets lost on art-school posers and post-punk sellouts — prompted the advent of an exceedingly harsh sect of rockers, including hardcore headliners like Converge, Terror and Bane.
Time-honored veterans of the scene, Bane has witnessed an exceptionally prolific career, counting four studio albums and two compilations among a smattering of international releases and extended plays since its Worcester-based formation in 1995.
While a handful of faces cycled in and out of the rhythm section's swinging doors during the band's formative years, original members Aaron Bedard and Aaron Dalbec crafted the brash and brutal quintet into a tireless cornerstone of hardcore that has embodied the resolute spirit of the blue-collar everyman for nearly two decades.
Longevity, however, is a rare virtue in the world of hardcore, which Bedard himself has described as a young man's game. Now, finding themselves suffering the wear and tear of physically exhausting shows at the age of 40-something, Bedard and Dalbec are winding down Bane's legacy, relenting the reins of their genre's future to a new generation with 2014's appropriately titled, Don't Wait Up, the band's newest and final album.
While "Calling Hours" and "Park St." are undeniably gritty standouts on Don't Wait Up, "Final Backward Glance" is the allegorical swan song of the legendary band. Rounding out the album with thundering guitars and Bedard's profoundly introspective lyricism — "I won't carry you in my heart / You are my heart" — the track unfolds as Bane's thematic terminus, a stark and sincere testament of the band's empathic dedication to the hardcore community.
A unifying force in a genre often centered on dissonance and discord, Bane ultimately reaches beyond the trite staples of hardcore — the combat boots, the crew cuts, the suburban angst — to leave an important mark on listeners worldwide. At its rawest moments in Don't Wait Up, Bane represents a visceral reaction to the proverbial unfairness of life, a cathartic response to the callous workings of an indifferent universe. It bears a constant message of endurance, an atavism reiterated in its last valediction: "A wasted life is worse than death / It's up to you to figure out the rest."