by Robert Dean
As a dude who’s in the twilight of his 30’s, I’ve got beef with some of the reviewers out there and how they’re approaching Vein and their record Errorzone. In some of the reviews I’ve seen online in the blogs or vlogs (6 out of 10 WTF, mate?), I gotta call out when people say Vein is trying too hard to be unique or isn’t as good as Botch or Converge, or even the original Norma Jean record. That’s straight up garbage.
Here’s the thing: these are kids in their early 20’s, they weren’t around when I was going to see Coalesce at the Fireside Bowl or watch Botch play a matinee show for gas money. They weren’t born or just barely in diapers when I was watching Converge play the “Saddest Day” in Chicago for the first time ever. I was there when those bands were in their heyday, infancy and ultimately their demise. To mention Vein in the breath of those legendary acts is a triumph because so many bands desperately try to copy that style and that moment in hardcore. And 99% of those bands either suck total ass or fail.
When Vein took the stage at Barracuda in Austin last night, it was a watershed moment for them. Despite Code Orange having to cancel, it was 100% clear the majority of the bodies who still wanted to see the show were there for Vein – the openers. They’re a band on the rise, and the hype is deserved. They’re mixing styles flawlessly and for a first record, written by a band who most of them can’t even legally buy a beer is fantastic. What did YOUR band sound like at 20?
Cruising through their cuts off Errorzone, the crowd was excited, and it was a mix of old dudes like young kids screaming their hearts out and me, many probably attending their first hardcore show. That’s cool. There were clearly kids who weren’t “in the scene” and ready to freak out for their new favorite band. A band, who isn’t playing super radio friendly metal, but a band that’s playing off-kilter, off-timed hardcore that is a direct descendant of Dead Guy, Pig Destroyer, and Glassjaw. We should be so lucky people give a shit.
Critics pretending that they’re all wise and critical are nothing but assholes. We should be thrilled that Errorzone is as good as it is because the potential to blow it away is written into the DNA of what Vein is. They mix a lot of genres, and the end result is powerful, emotional and absolutely is a throwback to when we got to see bands like Cave In play for ½ empty rooms because no one liked Jupiter. To think that Vein is capable of dropping a hybrid of Deftones White Pony and Dillinger Escape Plan’s Calculating Infinity isn’t a pipe dream.
As an official hardcore grey beard, I call bullshit and that we should rally around the new bands. These kids are changing hardcore and making it fun again. How many fucking Hatebreed copies do we need? Madball can barely be Madball anymore, so why do we need another guy copying Freddy?
Let the kids play. They’re killing it. People are excited, and you know what, we need as much fierce rock and roll as we can get. Vein is bringing it in spades.