'68 is the latest project of Josh Scogin, former frontman of The Chariot and Norma Jean. However, with this duo's 2014 debut 'In Humor And Sadness', it was arguably the scene legend's finest work put to wax. Whereas his previous bands largely went down the hardcore/metalcore route, '68 put out a record which covered blues, punk, grunge, indie and even post-rock. What was more impressive though was that they were able to do this across a whole record with the same vocals, same simple, but effective guitar approach and free-spirited, but firm and concise drumming from Michael McClellan. They're back with their newest record 'Two Parts Viper' which sees them further explore what can be done with just a six string and heart.
'Eventually We All Win' kicks things off with the dirtiest fuzz, stampeding at turbo rhythms. '68 have got two-piece rock n roll nailed as where they lack in numbers, the more than make up for in volume and punch. There's moments of the guitars being absent and there just being light, clacking percussion, to break up the battery, but when the vigour comes back in, it does with a vengeance.
'Whether Terrified Or Unafraid' hits you with bluesy stomp, which '68 proved they have more than a knack for with their last record. However, '68 continue to be able to take the standard old-fashioned guitar method and make it more epic, with their songs usually having a heroic charge to them, this time being in the form of the 'I could of being anyone from anywhere, but I chose to be me, right here' chant.
Continue reading: '68 - Two Parts Viper Album Review
After fronting American noiseniks The Chariot for a decade, Josh Scogin knows a thing or two about making a racket. Following the band’s demise, Scogin has formed '68; a two piece with him on vocals and guitar and Matt McClellan on drums. Their debut album ‘In Humour And Sadness’ sees Scogin remain comfortable doing loud music, despite playing with less musicians than he’s used to. The album also sees him stretch his wings a bit.
‘In Humor And Sadness’ starts with raging opener ‘Track one: R’ which has a Nirvana, 'In Utero' vibe to it with walls of feedback between the distorted and stompy riffs, unrelenting drums, gritty vocals and feisty lyrics like, ‘You’ve got nothing to prove, but you’re going to prove it anyway’ all of which gets you pumped for the rest of the record. ‘Track two: e’ is much of the same and yet equally very different. It’s still raw with punchy loud moments, but slower and moodier overall with gentle guitar breaking up the fierceness. ‘Track three: g’ is another kind of beast; it is a huge hard rock number with a thick, groove driven riff and gang vocals which come together to create an epic noise.
Despite there being many different styles of guitar music explored across this album, all the songs flow nicely along with Scogin’s primal howl and rough strumming. Take ‘Track six: t’ for instance; it’s colourful, jangly indie rock for the most part, but Scogin still sounds unhinged as ever as he yells like it’s all he knows how to do. ‘Track seven: n’ goes even further down the indie route with warm summery guitar and positive lines like, ‘Everyone’s given up but I was born on a different day and I drink from a different cup’.
Continue reading: '68 - In Humor And Sadness Album Review