Now, this is some heavy shit! You can interpret that statement in more ways than one when it comes to Scary Hours’ brand new record Symptoms of Modern Hegemony. (Find it on Bandcamp as well.) Not only is this a full-on, balls-to-the-wall sonic assault on your eardrums, but the band has taken this opportunity to get into some weighty lyrical and thematic territory, as the album title may suggest.
Due out officially this Friday, July 29th, through Pyrrhic Victory Recordings, the album was recorded over the better part of the last year in lead singer Ryan Struck’s home studio, where he and his three bandmates conjured up all the passion and rage they could muster. The album’s twelve new tracks are rooted within the rougher side of hardcore punk, with clear elements of thrash metal scattered about. In other words, it’s an out-and-out beatdown.
Explaining and contextualizing Symptoms of Modern Hegemony for us, Struck says:
“Our first EP Margins came out near the end of 2020 and I felt totally wiped. Then the Chauvin trial hit TV and I started writing ‘Precision Grooming’ and couldn’t stop. The art, both the musical and the visual components of the band, became what felt like the only corner of the universe I could control in a world that has become so wildly out of control. I think there’s something for everyone here. I grew up on bands like Bad Religion, Good Riddance, and Propagandhi, and I wanted to tap into that same intellectual space without alienating folks; rather, I wanted to voice what it feels like going through systemic and political crises from a worker’s perspective.
“Writing these songs helped me to work through some of those negative emotions. Even the songs that aren’t overtly political in topic are still informed by working-class struggles. For instance, ‘Behind’ was written during a rough time in the pandemic where I was working mandatory 60-hour weeks in a factory. A lot of folks were putting their lives on the line to keep the country running while CEOs made record profits. I felt forced to take a hard look around. It felt like at some point in my life, in all our lives, we peaked and had no idea. I hope this record lets folks know they aren’t alone, and that their feelings are valid. I hope they connect with the music even a fraction of the way I connected to the records I grew up on.”
There are poignant moments aplenty throughout Symptoms of Modern Hegemony, and it’s serious business the whole way through. As Struck alludes, the album is heavily inspired by today’s current political and social climate and the contentious issues that many factions of society continue to battle over. But it would be an oversimplification to call this a “political record.”
Many key moments acknowledge our personal struggles, from grief to addiction to isolation. There is one primary lesson that Struck and his bandmates would like you to take away from this listening experience, though: we are all in this together. With unity, we can live and die together, and if you’re nervous about the future, we can scream out our frustrations together in unison.
Symptoms of Modern Hegemony Track Listing:
1. Suffer Peacefully
2. Secular Grace
3. Blinded by Mundanity
4. Western Thirst
5. Staffing the Trolley
6. Sackler Street
7. Daily Grime
9. Precision Grooming
11. Tiny Tragedies
12. Menace of Proportion