It has been said that rock ‘n’ roll is a religion, but with the necessary devotion, outsider lifestyle, and difficulty leaving (who wants a day job?), it’s more like a cult. Therefore there is no better place for a rock ‘n’ roll band to be based than the savagely heavy quintet Aneurysm’s hometown of Boston, also home to other well-known cults like Christian Science, The Boston Red Sox, and perhaps the largest cult of all: runners.
Let’s examine a few reasons why Aneurysm could be the next great cult from Boston:
In the late 1800’s, Mary Baker Eddy founded the Church of Christ, Scientist, on the belief that prayer alone can heal the sick. It came after adapting - some say stealing - the metaphysical teachings of another healer. It’s unlikely Aneurysm ripped off anyone’s licks, but fans of heavy music will recall visions of decades of classic heavy riffage, from The Stooges to Born Against, throughout Aneurysm’s catalogue. Either way, the belief that technical knowledge isn’t necessary for results is a lot like punk rock, ain’t it?
A cult is a cult of its times when the critics are paying attention. Just like Mark Twain famously criticizing Eddy and her church, the critics have spoken about Aneurysm - but much more favorably. Noisey said that Aneurysm’s “strange melting pot of sound” will make you want to “crack a skateboard deck over your friend’s skull.” SPIN compared the band to a heart attack, writing, “what separates them from their heavy forebears and cleaned-up contemporaries is the delicate balance they strike between melody and chaos.”
What’s more cult-like than still having followers after an 86-year losing streak? From 1918 to 2004 the Boston Red Sox failed to win the World Series, a period referred to as the “Curse of The Bambino.” Likewise, most rock ‘n’ roll bands receive little more than fan loyalty for their years of work - maybe some free beer and a floor to sleep on here and there. All the guys in Aneurysm have spent years playing in other bands, in other states, arriving in Boston with the dream of something bigger - only to find themselves back in the van, on the road to the next unknown gig. At least baseball games always have hot dogs. (Once, however, the clouds parted, the rock gods smiled, and Aneurysm found itself in a DIY strip club in a Philadelphia apartment. Hold onto your dreams, kids. You never know what the future holds.)
Whether it’s a cross or a spaceship, a good cult needs something to worship. Rock ‘n’ roll bands have guitars, and runners have shoes. And Boston, once the industrial revolution’s footwear manufacturing capitol, is still home to shoe companies like Clarks, New Balance, and Converse, as well as the world’s oldest annual marathon, the Boston Marathon. Though every student at MIT could tell you that correlation does not equal causation, Aneurysm was actually invited to record songs for its 2016 Aneurysm/Goya split EP in a studio located at Converse headquarters. How did the band snag such a rad opportunity? Who actually runs for fun? Is the red Chuck Taylor shoe really dyed with the blood of virgins?
Every cult believes it is misunderstood, and Aneurysm often gets mistaken for a metal band. Yes, they released a split EP with the doom metal band Goya. And yes, their latest album was recorded at metalcore giant Converge’s GodCity Studio, and engineered by the bassist of Deafheaven, another metal band. And yes, Aneurysm’s singer used to sing in a band that was signed to a Metal Blade Records subsidiary label, did merch for grindcore band Ed Gein, and would occasionally sing an encore with them. Hell, Aneurysm’s logo even looks kinda metal. But just like another famously heavy band who’d get slapped with the metal label - Motorhead - it’s easiest to just say Aneurysm plays rock ‘n’ roll. It’s loud, and it’s fast, and if one band is going to get the house party shut down, it’s probably them, but it’s still just rock ‘n’ roll in all its unpretentious and standard-tuned glory.
So if you’re finding yourself sitting alone late at night, pondering your own meaningless existence, why don’t you consider becoming a part of something bigger than yourself? Why don’t you try searching for salvation along the righteous path of pure fucking volume? In the words of another genre-bending musician, you’re gonna have to serve somebody. It may be the devil, or it may be the Lord. But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.