I ventured my way though the typical NYC area traffic from NJ to my favorite venue, Brooklyn’s Saint Vitus. I was coming to check out Wear Your Wounds, the solo project of Converge frontman Jacob Bannon that has spawned into a fully realized band. The band’s lineup is STACKED with three guitar players who are responsible for much of my heavy musical upbringing. On stage right was Sean Martin, guitarist in Hatebreed during their seminal years and more recently with Twitching Tongues, while Adam McGrath was on stage left and a founding member of Cave In while also playing in Zozobra and Nomad Stones.

Center stage guitar featured Mike McKenzie of The Red Chord and was rounded out by Jacob Bannon on bass and vocals. Drummer Chris Maggio played in Trap Them and was perfect in accentuating the darker moments of the set with cymbal washes and lightly pronounced percussion, while also having moments of full on chaotic double kick and rapid fill madness.

Bannon preempted the set with an apology for the packed crowd, “These are all sad songs, sorry” before launching into a set largely comprised of material from their upcoming album, Rust On The Gates Of Heaven.

There were moments of lone, reverb soaked guitar with Bannon’s pained yet melodic vocals that would explode into a full band breakdown that got the crowd head banging as well as the band themselves. Bannon mentioned the evolution of the project, starting as lonely bedroom recordings before evolving into what we were witnessing that night. Mike McKenzie largely handled lead guitar duties, often playing the lone, drone-like passages in the first half of the tracks and even playing a slide solo during new track “Lurking Shadow”.

The rhythm section of Bannon and Maggio was very much on point and its very clear to me how Maggio was chosen to fill in for an injured Ben Koller in Mutoid Man earlier this year. The tandem of McGrath and Martin seemingly focused on provided a strong wall of rhythm guitar but both used their share of chorus and delay effects to keep things interesting. After a strong set and a quick stop by merch to pick up their Live At The BBC record, I began my voyage home in what was a flawless trip, or so I thought.

Shoutout to the man/woman who rear ended THE SHIT out of my front bumper and fled the scene. Consider yourself lucky I didn’t notice until the next morning otherwise I’d have stalked the streets of Greenpoint John Wick style to avenge your transgression. ANYWHO, seeing Wear Your Wounds perform their new material has me excited for Rust On The Gates Of Heaven, which will release on July 12th via Deathwish Inc.