Jane Doe Album Cover

I’ve always been aware of the rumblings on the band Converge, and specifically that of their 2001 release “Jane Doe.” But for whatever reason I’ve never been that motivated to check them out.

Then one day a vagrant showed up on my doorstep with their Epilaugh debut You Fail Me. And hearing it was cool–in a much as anything that Jared subjects upon me can be considered a good thing–I eventually bought into it. And given the fact that the recording is harsh–way too much high end–I learned to enjoy, most of it. My main complaint–besides the “equalization”–being the album doesn’t flow very effectively. So with their release of No Heros, I felt a somewhat obvious compulsion to check it out. And I did.

Which had me thinking maybe their praise was “warranted” (if it ever is) and, immediately decided to give Jane Doe a try. And upon hearing that record I was exposed to an altered “perspective,” if you will, then I’ve previously been accustomed when appreciating music.

It wasn’t ’til I heard that record when I realized there was a lot more going on there than I’d ever realized. From start to finish. A true “mood” record. Each song is decent enough on it’s own, judged on a varying scale, of course. But together? One song picks up where the preceding one left off. In fact it’s somehow reminiscent (to me) of Refused’s A Shape Of Punk To Come, but, seemingly taken a few steps further.

And to this day I’m still unable to put my finger on emotions I visit while listening to Converge–and “Jane Doe” in particular–but the feelings are still quite foreign to me.

I can’t help but feel haunted by what that record and that year, specifically represent. Life seemed so easy before 2001, but after shit seems so complicated. Hindsight is 20/20, right? But I’m most bothered by the feeling that the year 2001 was the point in time when life and death began a slow descent into convergence. Guess we’ll find out…

“Anyhow, if these really are the dying days of humankind, at least we’re going out true to ourselves.”1

1 Maura Della (Stephen Baxter), Manifold: Time