Every Record I Own - Day 258: Agoraphobic Nosebleed / Converge The Poacher Diaries
We’re gonna go through my Converge records chronologically, and I regret to admit that I own most of their early catalog on CD, so we’re starting with their split LP with Agoraphobic Nosebleed from 1999. Sadly, there will be no discussion of Petitioning the Empty Sky, When Forever Comes Crashing, Jane Doe, or You Fail Me. All great records, but all owned on CD.
Poacher Diaries is a weird place to start in the catalog, partially because it’s a split but also because it was a transition record. It was the first record with Nate Newton on bass, their second-to-last record with Aaron Dalbec on guitar, and the only record with John Digiorgio on drums. Of all the times I’ve seen Converge play live, I don’t think I’ve ever heard them play anything off of Poacher Diaries.
I was introduced to Converge in the summer of ‘96 when Botch played a few dates with them on our first East Coast tour. Our initial show together was in Norfolk, VA in a mechanic’s garage with half-a-dozen other bands. It was so hot the garage’s only air conditioner caught on fire at the beginning of the night. Newton’s then-current band Jesuit also played, and I was excited because he’d been a part of one of my favorite hardcore 7″s of the mid-’90s. I was also amused because Converge played a song that ripped off Newton’s old band (cue 3:06 on the previous link and cue 2:07 here) and no one seemed to give a shit.
Over the next couple of years we’d play with Converge at various spots on the West Coast. And then in the summer of ‘98 Botch did a U.S. tour with Jesuit. Their band broke up shortly afterwards, Nate moved to Boston and joined Converge, and they started working on this record. I remember being stoked on Poacher Diaries because Newton and Digiorgio added a lot of girth to the band and I’d been somewhat disappointed by the thin, crispy, vocal-heavy original mix for When Forever Comes Crashing. As I said earlier, this was a transitional record, but the truly pivotal moment in their career would come two years later with the release of Jane Doe, and I’ll just have to spare y’all my story about sitting in a rental car with the Hydra Head camp listening to an advance cassette of that album at Krazy Fest back in the summer of ‘01.
p.s. my apologies to Agoraphobic Nosebleed for skipping over ‘em here. I loved y’all’s 7″ on Bovine.