If your only exposure to Converge has been gnarly teeth-gnashers like “Concubine”, “No Heroes”, and “Eagles Become Vultures”—three of the hardcore band’s ‘hits’—Jacob Bannon’s Wear Your Wounds project is gonna sound like it came way out of left field. It shouldn’t, though; the singer’s been hinting at a solo record as lush and layered as WYW for some time. The clearest through-line to the long-awaited LP would have to be Rust, a 2009 compilation that paired lots of four-track fiddling with the Supermachiner recordings Bannon cut alongside bassist Ryan Parker and Converge bandmate Kurt Ballou a decade earlier.
Wear Your Wounds embraces Bannon’s epic inclinations wholesale, as well as such admitted influences as Swans, Sparklehorse, and—no, really—Pink Floyd. As suggested by its moonlit album art, this is a record that reaches for the stars rather than the pavement, often pushing its post-metal experiments well past the six-minute mark. Bannon also knows when to let other musicians shine, as evidenced by a solid backing band that includes Ballou and heavy hitters who have logged hours with The Red Chord (guitarist Mike McKenzie), Coliseum (drummer Chris Maggio), and Hatebreed (guitarist Sean Martin).
It’s not going to convert any Converge hardliners who still listen to Petitioning the Empty Sky religiously, but that’s okay; Bannon transcended the scope of those scorchers years ago, and is showing no signs of slowing his creative growth anytime soon.