This is the twenty fifth of the “50 Albums to Christmas 2019” series.
I love hearing something completely new. “Lend me some good music Chris”, I said in 2001. And I was handed Jane Doe. Without warning. Which is kind of mean because if you’d not heard of Converge, as I had not, then you wouldn’t know, as I did not, that the Boston band had been carefully making ever more intense hardcore records since 1990 and that Jane Doe had already been acknowledged as one of the most extreme records ever recorded. Which probably would have helped when I played track one.
Because the opening of Converge’s Jane Doe is the sound of someone’s face being torn off with sound. It is terrifying.
And then after I came out from behind the sofa because the apocalypse didn’t actually appear to be happening, I remembered to hear tracks 3 to 11 and started to realise that the hifi was actually playing a work of genius. The slower tracks salved with one hand and sawed with the other, winding down and building back up until - inexorably - I got to the album’s conclusion, the eleven minute headliner. Imagine Pink Floyd with an overabundance of rage and angst. There’s hardcore and then there’s Jane Doe.