Bane frontman Aaron Bedard can wear a purple sweater with an appliqué teddy bear onstage and the tattooed folks in the crowd won't say a word. Bane just has that kind of rep. This Boston hardcore band, started in 1995 as a side project for Converge guitarist Aaron Dalbec and drummer Damon Bellorado, doesn't care about fashion or projecting an image. Instead, the focus is on sounding vibrant and direct. While Converge became more experimental and moved towards metal, Bane went in the other direction, opting for stripped-down, short songs that are heavy without any distortion. Bedard's thick, clean vocals get special emphasis, with concise, easy-to-understand lyrics. You can even learn the words to every song without the aid of liner notes -- which is good, because he will surely share the microphone with you at a show. Just don't bring up the sweater.