Verse – From Anger and Rage

From Anger and Rage

Melodic hardcore champs Verse have come a long way. With some new members in tow, their second album might be short lived (just shy of 25 minutes), but it’s a huge sign of progression. The inclusion of gang vocals and semi-breakdowns has become a more natural and fluent process. Also, not only has recording quality seen improvements, but the songs display more depth and complexity than their previous effort Rebuild did.

From Anger and Rage begins with barreling riffs, not unlike those used by Bane and Killing the Dream. At just 1:10 minutes long, it’s even more explosive than Rebuild‘s opener. “Hard to Breathe” was debuted before the CD’s release and in turn created some of the positive hype. Verse sing-alongs are still to the point, and “Searching for Something More” comes as no exception. Sean Murphy’s fierce yells are even more unstable and distressed than before. His vocal delivery contains similarities to that of Burn (90’s Revelation Records hardcore) singer Chaka Malik. I’m convinced the album’s third song, “Start a Fire,” is the best Verse song to date. The tempo changes are flawless, the gang vocals are used in moderation, the breakdown is truly “Verse style,” and the final build-up solidifies everything.

With From Anger and Rage‘s spruced-up production, the guitars finally are the way they were intended: heavy and melodic. The presence of dual guitars is nothing new to the band, but now it’s responsible for a noticeable evolution from sloppy to tight. While the band may sound lyrically overzealous on “Consume” and “Lost,” that’s not to say those aren’t good songs. I just notice how lines like “Fuck the business man” and “It wasn’t out of hate now was it son? / I’m not your fucking son” come off a little awkwardly. The majority of the lyrics deal with social protest, standing up for your beliefs, etc. The passion is surely there, but still, these are subjects easier preached on record than carried out in reality.

Verse is another reason I believe so strongly in Rivalry Records. To all the kids anticipating a golden follow-up, the band has definitely risen to the challenge.