It’s been a while since I wrote a review about Margins, an outstanding full-length by New Jersey hardcore punk project Scary Hours. I remember being blown away by the sheer energy, dynamics, power, intelligence, and eloquence bursting from each composition. Scary Hours is known for being highly politically charged, with lyrics spanning every possible topic that struck upon humankind nowadays. The fight against injustice remains Scary Hours’ top priority to this day, and Ryan’s latest full-length release, Symptoms Of Modern Hegemony, serves as more than solid proof of my statement. Perhaps it has been nearly two years between the two albums, but Ryan wasn’t wasting time. In the meantime, Scary Hours was busy promoting this material with Precision Grooming, Tiny Tragedies, Western Thirst, and Sackler Street, four excellent introductory singles that served as a sneak peek of what you might expect from the entire album.
Symptoms Of Modern Hegemony showcases many innovations in sound and differs from its predecessor, Margins. This particular album leans much more towards post-hardcore aesthetics, decorated with only the best properties of melodic hardcore, metalcore, and mathcore. Scary Hours distanced from hardcore punk a lot, but you may still stumble upon some elements of the beforementioned genre. Also, don’t be surprised if you hear some ingredients borrowed from other music genres because Symptoms Of Modern Hegemony sound diverse. However, this diversity perfectly suits Scary Hours. Ryan always wanted to present Scary Hours in the brightest light possible. That’s the case with this material as well. Maybe this material is diverse, but Ryan thoroughly combined each element, so Symptoms Of Modern Hegemony sounds compact from scratch to finish.
This album carries twelve compositions stacked with brilliant ideas and impressive musicianship. You’ll immediately notice exceptional guitar shreds, technically demanding licks, progressive riffs, and other sonic delicacies. Because of these technicalities, Symptoms Of Modern Hegemony often sounds like a modern metalcore or mathcore album, but after a couple of listens, you’ll notice this album isn’t overly complex. Scary Hours reached a fine line where you’ll detect all these sonic maneuvers, but those will not spoil your listening experience if you’re not into progressive music. Nothing would sound massive without chunky basslines and mindblowing drumming performance that keep this material heavy, tight and dynamic. As the remainder of the orchestrations, the vocals became even more aggressive and progressive over the years. Ryan delivers a mixture of classic hardcore shoutouts and screams. Both technics work to the advantage of this material. It’s nearly mindblowing how Ryan managed to write, compose, record, and produce all by himself, so Symptoms Of Modern Hegemony represents a perfect demonstration of the DIY ethos.
I’ve had such an incredible time listening to this album repetitiously. These compositions become even better when you listen to them several times, so I highly advise you to give this album a couple of spinnings.
Symptoms Of Modern Hegemony is available directly from Ryan or head to Pyrrhic Victory Records for more information about ordering.