Massachusetts Bane have been one of the most consistent bands in hardcore and have been for nearly twenty years now. With plenty of EPs, 7-inches, and now releasing their 4th and final full length (their first in 8 years) Don’t Wait Up is some of the best we’ve seen from Bane.
Kicking off with “Non-Negotiable”, a blistering posi-jam call to arms straight into “All The Way Through”, a chunky melodic song about keeping youthful energy alive while growing old, you know you’re in for a classic Bane album.
However it’s impossible to talk about Don’t Wait Up and not mention the white elephant in the room, and that being Bane stated this would be their final recorded work as a band. Because of this, there is a theme of melancholy throughout the album. With masterpieces like “Calling Hour” and “Final Backwards Glance” which declares “I’ve never been much good at saying goodbye. Goodbye.” one could only imagine it’s about moving on. Even the album title Don’t Wait Up hints at this, and while sometimes it comes off as a bit cheesy at times, as a fan for many years I can’t help but be upset to see one of my favorite hardcore bands calling it a day.
That being said, the album does remain incredibly hopeful and positive with songs like Park St, which tells the story about how Aaron ran into a fan on the train right when he was feeling hopeless and comes to the conclusion “Maybe I was wrong and I will never be alone. All because we wrote these punk rock songs, and god damn that’s pretty crazy, so fucking amazing.”
Now maybe I’m just in the denial stage of grief, but with bands like Gorilla Biscuits, Flag, Youth of Today, American Nightmare, Lifetime, etc all playing reunion shows, I’m in the camp that no hardcore band truly breaks up anymore. While they may not record anything for quite some time (and really, this being their first album in 8 years I wouldn’t hold my breath) I’m hoping that they don’t stop playing shows. Besides, if Don’t Wait Up is any indication, these guys have a lot left in them. Even if it wasn’t their final album, Don’t Wait Up is a fucking cohesive masterpiece and easily one of my favorites of the year.
Give Blood, Give Everything:
Bane – Holding This Moment
American Nightmare – Year One
Chain Of Strength – The One Thing That Still Holds True Today
Dangers – Five O Clock Shadows At The Edge Of The Western World