Noise-rock Duo ’68 Gets Chaotic on Debut Full Length

After The Chariot went on their farewell tour last fall, it was hard to imagine frontman Josh Scogin would continue to do anything other than scream at the top of his lungs. ’68 is no-nonsense hardcore, with Scogin on vocals and guitar and Michael McClellan on drums, there’s not much between what you see and what you get. And you get a lot: there are heavy breakdowns, insane guitar pedal effects, bass drops where you’d least expect them, and a heartfelt sense of aggression that can only come through musicians who are giving their all. After releasing Midnight a few months back, the two piece has released their debut full length, In Humor and Sadness.

’68 is experimental in nature, at times it feels like this is what you would get if you put Scogin and McClellan at the steering wheel and had Jack White and Johnny Cash, trying to tell them which turns to make. There’s the screeching blues guitar, a folky inward-looking mentality in the vocals, with amazing and oddly-timed drum fills. The two of them have written an entire album that blend noisy hardcore with an inherent influence in soul and blues that comes through in subtly awesome ways. “Track 3: G” has a guitar riff that is equal parts heavy and groovy, while “Track 5: E” has an upbeat vibe that guides the entire song. “Track 6: T” kicks off like crazy, churning from a quick scream fest into a slowed down mess of shrieking guitar alongside an abused drum kit. This is where some of the production work from Matt Goldman really amps up the album, the end of the track rolls into a massive combination of guitar, drums, and a plethora of production techniques that make it a heartfelt and tragic ending.

“Track 7: N” brings in more breath-taking vocals from Scogin and comes to another out-of-this-world conclusion including digital noises, piano, and some more melodic strings that are choreographed with the guitar and drums so well that it’s astounding. When Scogin comes back in screaming above all that is one of the best moments on this album, its hard to tell exactly what he is saying with such force, but one thing is clear: when I walk alone, you’re by my side one thousand times. After a short outro, “Track O” opens loud and heavy as Scogin yells Hey! I’ve still got a lot to say, maybe I’m wrong, maybe I’m right, maybe I can’t give up the fight until I’m gone!, among other yells that are thrown in for fun. Definitely one of the most jamming songs on the album that centers around a killer guitar riff. The final track ends passionately, changing from a loud, thumping number into a strangely swaying instrumental bridge that eventually builds into the band’s final, bold exclamation: So here I am, all the stars are aligned. Though I found you in a fortress, the stars are aligned. Here I am.

In Humor and Sadness is a must-listen for any fans of The Chariot or music that sounds like its tearing at the seams. They pummel through heavy sections with conviction, and attack the softer sections of the album with a creative pool of influences. The record certainly has its epic, brutal, fast moments, and ’68 has done of a great job of molding their chaotic style of noise-rock into a cohesive album. Give it a listen for some awesome hardcore tunes, and make it out to see ’68 when they get back to touring the states.

Order In Humor and Sadness on iTunes/vinyl/CD here.

1 Comment

  1. Chaz Pace

    August 18, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    I definitely hear some Jack White on there.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.