Kneel to Influence
It’s not uncommon for a band to cover an influence, in this day and age, it’s almost uncommon if a band doesn’t cover an influence. But when an influence is in a completely different genre, this is where it gets tricky. Punk, hardcore, metalcore, whatever you want to call it, draws influence and inspiration from all walks of music, not just from within the same pool that a particular band is playing in. So surprise surprise, the punk kid also likes some sad music, the hardcore kid likes some emo music, and the metalcore kid likes some Goth music.
Deftones covered The Cure, Converge covered Depeche Mode, At the Drive-in covered The Smiths, Thou covered Nirvana, American Nightmare covered Archers of Loaf, Nothing covered New Order, Type O Negative covered the Beatles, and Marilyn Manson covered Type O Negative. Among so many more, this trend is not something that is new, but can be a good opportunity to showcase musicianship outside of a band’s comfort zone.
The Banner is a hardcore band from New Jersey that usually sounds like:
A ferocious and terrifying mix of hardcore, metal, and noise. Abrasive, nasty, heavy, in your face, heart pumping, pretty much the complete opposite of what they did on this 2 song EP they released. The first track is a Killing Joke cover of the song “Love like Blood”. A brooding 6 minute dark cloud of paced drums, ethereal guitars and vocals that could be mistaken for a Duran Duran song or a Flock of Seagulls track. But it works. The Banner take off their Slayer shirts, and put on their Morrissey shirts, and it works.
The second track is a remix of a track off of their 2014 album “Greying” called “Send me Down”. This is the slow, gothic, inspired track that traded distorted guitars, for distorted synth on this newer release. The 2 minute mark still brings the “climax” of the song, where most of the band comes in and the vocals trade from Pete Steele-esque drones to typical Banner screamed vocals, a trade that should have been left out, as it detracts from the overall mood that was trying to be set so heavily be the previous two minutes.
I personally always find it intriguing (and maybe a little endearing) when a typically hardcore or metal band covers a post-punk, industrial, goth, emo, shoegaze, whatever type song that is completely out of their comfort zone. Is it always good? Hell no. But it’s a shining example of how influence can be drawn from the most unlikely veins.
by Andy Wilcox (@wilco204)