As Neil would say, "full disclosure" - If you don't know me, I'm Joe. I own Pyrrhic Victory Recordings as well as this site. This post is about my friend and label's artist, Ryan Struck & Scary Hours. While I could have asked one of our tremendous writers - this is as good an opportunity as any to sincerely and gratefully thank every one of them for their dedication and incredible writing which is helping Blood Makes Noise grow into what it is becoming and will continue to become - with integrity and the DIY and collaborative "let's all help each other" vision I intended it to be, I wanted to share my thoughts. So, thank you. Let's keep moving. Almost all of you owe me something btw, but I digress... :)
I know Ryan won't mind, so before I discuss his incredible new record I am going to vent a bit. Things have been hard. On all of us. We have lost people. We have spent time in hospitals. We have argued with family and friends over the absurdity of what is called politics in our country. We have waited in lines for COVID tests. Many of us are "on the front lines" - a swell "work or die" scenario. Perhaps Ryan can use this as a follow up to his first record "Live to Serve/Serve to Live" - "Work or Die/Die or Work". Many of us, including myself, have been and/or are still quarantined. I still am as I have high risk members in my family and cannot take any chances. While I realize I am very lucky to be able to work from home and be safe, I admit, I need to let it out, some-fucking-where.. that it is taking its toll. I have been going to sleep earlier and earlier. First around 9, now sometimes 7 or even 6. I will tell my wife I am going to lie down, but I just stay there. Yeah, I wake up from time to time, but the heaviness keeps me in bed. I do not want to trouble my wife and friends with my struggles, as I know all too well they have their own. It will be a difficult Christmas, not being able to be close to our family and friends. It will be a difficult time for a while. For most of my friends, music is Life. It's practically our religion. This site most likely wouldn't exist had it not been for the pandemic but it is here to stay now. Thank you to all who have been and will continue to support what we are doing. We will support you too. If you're still reading, thanks for getting through my vent. Let's try to let art distract us, as we be as responsible and kind to each other as possible in order to get through this. Now to the music..
This record is a split release between Pyrrhic Victory Recordings in US & Engineer Records in UK/EU (please purchase CDs by location). I did not originally plan to review "Margins" on BMN. We have received really great press so far from great sites like The Big Takeover, Jersey Beat, Mass Movement, Rebel Noise and others. In fact, the following was originally a simple facebook post, some of you may have already seen, it is short and sweet, but I feel it is the most honest way I can describe my feelings about this record so I will simply repost it here:
I've been busy. I've been quarantined. I have been distracted by some "real job" and other things, so I haven't been able to appropriately take the time to think through and express some thoughts and feelings about my good friend Ryan's new piece of art - the intense and incredible "Margins" by Scary Hours. The reviews have been detailed, seemingly in awe, at times almost shocked, by the sheer authenticity, perhaps created by a space of vulnerability Ryan at times dwells in, where he can channel his wise and tempered Muse and allow it to flow through him in an act of pure Ritual. I am proud of you, brother. Friends and frenemies, show your support for Scary Hours. This record is everything right now.
As Rich Quinlan wrote in Jersey Beat "The desperation of the times detailed is heard in the pained nature of Struck’s vocals and the eight songs on Margins truly are a soundtrack for the angst and fear that will continue to infest the country, even if the occupant in the White House has changed."
- Joe Pugsley