Review: “Symptoms of Modern Hegemony” by Scary Hours

A schizophrenically diverse record, “Symptoms of Modern Hegemony” from Scary Hours is the product of its genes and influences, one that wears its heart upon its sleeve from the very start. It drags you along in a tidal wave of important messages that slap you in the face from every direction both lyrically and vocally giving you a wake up call to make you think while at the same taking a page from the book of bands like Every Time I Die. The goods are delivered with the same high energy incendiary nature, skipping the metaphorical nature and instead taking a no nonsense approach and front loading with riffs to destroy. “Somebody taught you to hate your skin, somebody taught you to hate your lips, somebody taught you to hate yourself from within for the state that you’re in” screams vocalist Ryan Struck about 60 seconds into the chaotic, fast and loose Hardcore Punk of hard hitting opening cut “Suffer Peacefully” and that’s just the start. Put simply Struck is fired up and furious, ranting and raving about everything from the US political climate and how marginalization and exploitation affects us personally while still making time for personal issues like grief, addiction and isolation.

They say never judge a book by it’s cover and album is one that fits that category like the glove of a murderer, a classic example being “Secular Grace“, an entirely different beast to the opening cut, loaded with violent of bursts of Black Metal, Thrash and even some brutal Deathcore vocals. It is what is best described as avant-garde and eclectic with a central spine of off-kilter clean vocals an the kind of Punk that sounds like it was from “So Long And Thanks For All The Shoes” era NoFx. You read that right. Punk, Thrash, Black Metal and Deathcore all in one sub three minute neutron bomb that on paper reads like it should sound like a car crash but in reality has been put together so well it’s dynamite. The album continues on at pace, the average cut being between the two and three minutes and the band cram in as much as humanly possible into each one to make for a rollercoaster ride of a record from start to finish. Like the best of thrillers there are nuances at every turn, “Western Thirst” having a funky fun breakdown section towards the back end despite it’s scathing vocal performance and gritty lyrical depth. It really does pay to expect the unexpected from Scary Hours and the album has so many highlights we could bore you with the longest review of all time and get ourselves in the Guinness Book of Records in the process.

Perhaps the biggest surprise comes mid way through the album with “Daily Grime“, a cut which flips the script entirely with a off kilter piano sample alongside a drum pattern that acts as a moment of clarity while at the same time sounding like you’ve been zapped into an Ugly Ducking record. In time honoured fashion that allows the rest of the album a minute to tune up before returning to the go hard or go home mantra of the first half of it. First “Trapped” hits you with an absolute riff fest that has some glorious bass bleed out before the high octane “Precision Grooming” brings heavy Hardcore rhythms coupled with a Punk solo and as groove for days. As if that wasn’t enough to contend with, the band give us a cut which takes a page from Counterparts book in “Behind“, one which orientates around melodic leads with a tight performance from the bands rhythm section that drives it home. Throw in a short moment or two of short breakdown and you have a stone cold winner. And yes, there is more with the melody that bursts into pure violence in  “Menace of Proportion“, an epic affair that tails off with a long and drawn out spoken word. A single cut that has three distinct parts and should simply be considered art. How Scary Hours have managed to have the vision to create this is inconceivable, miss out on it and you’ll be inconsolable [8.5/10]

Track Listing

  1. Suffer Peacefully
  2. Secular Grace
  3. Blinded by Mundanity
  4. Western Thirst
  5. Staffing The Trolley
  6. Slacker Street
  7. Daily Grime
  8. Trapped
  9. Precision Grooming
  10. Behind
  11. Tiny Tragedies
  12. Menace of Proportion

Symptoms of Modern Hegemony” by Scary Hours is out 29th July 2022 via Pyrrhic Victory Recordings

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