Verse - From Anger and Rage (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


From Anger and Rage (2006)


I've questioned the motives -- of all things under the sun!
The theme of From Anger and Rage can be summed up in that excerpt from "Start a Fire," though there's much more to this band than simple ideologies. Regardless, it's an inspired message from this Rhode Island five-piece. As much a message of hope as one of individuality, of the ability to question what is shown to you and what you are told. The words are simple, but at the same time, they seem to carry the weight of the world, and to be honest, this is one band who I would not mind seeing wave that flag.

They've come a long way since their first EP, seemingly just now finding comfort in their shoes, and their ability to branch out, while still retaining those same songs and ideals that so many kids gravitate towards. Vocalist Sean Murphy's delivery is one that while not immediately gripping, warms up quickly, and the tenacity and sincerity there is something nobody could possibly deny. The impact of every line furthers the obvious passion that he has for both his own music and everyone listening. I may be giving off an erroneous image here, though, Verse is certainly not a one-man show. While Murphy's impassioned vocals are what's most obviously evident about the album, the band behind him are none to shabby either.

Something has changed, or at very least, been tweaked musically as well. Everything seems bigger, louder, and more ferocious than ever before. The guitars carry a frenetic rhythm straight from the outset in "Weather to a Stone," and form perfectly to the way the vocals are delivered. A bit heavier than last time, the riffs tower and plummet with reckless abandon, the drum fills are loud enough to shake the very foundations of everything within earshot. Music and vocals coalesce better than I'd have thought this band was capable of. The aforementioned "Start a Fire" also does a terrific job of illustrating that point. At almost 4 and a half minutes, it's by far the longest song on the record, but not once does it waver or show the slightest hint at losing steam.

Beginning with nothing more than some quiet string plucking, the drums and guitar splash in briefly while the volume continues to build on the tension, until finally the gang vocal of "I CAN'T ACCEPT, WHAT'S BEEN DONE," then leads into the line that began this very review. That passion is the driving force behind the rest of the song, with some melodic undercurrents carrying the song's weight on its back, save for the moments that the band pauses to really let loose. After the song ends, the quick 30 seconds of "Standing in the Ashes" blitzes through to make way for the title track, one that's poised and ready to throw everything into a storm of intensity. Not kicking into high gear until almost a minute through, the band wastes no time after, piling on the full gang vocals and great combination of melodic and distorted guitar. Murphy is again the real cog behind the band, though, because as the song moves on, his vocals become louder, and angrier, and more frantic than ever, until the screams of "from anger and rage...COMES REBELLION," take things out.

Hardcore, plain and simple, needs more bands like Verse. More bands that can match their own passion and intensity with the skill to parlay it into something memorable. From Anger and Rage fits that bill. I sure hope you weren't waiting for a chance to hold your breath.