The punk polymath behind the fear-inducing moniker of New Jersey’s Scary Hours has given us a bit of respite for the year’s end. The genre-hopping and ever-industrious “bedroom hardcore” project of Ryan Struck seems to crank out increasingly relevant and fiery material at an impossible pace. Having quickly amassed a killer grip of singles, it was 2022’s sophomore full length, Symptoms of Modern Hegemony, that caught the most ears.
If you find yourself looking to scratch every musical itch at once, said collection recently found its way to the Maximum Rocknroll desk for review and managed to namecheck everything from Jets to Brazil and Cave In to Avenged Sevenfold and Pantera. That particular wildly diverse and incendiary collection of hyper-literate protest songs is perhaps the best starting point for a band whose influences run the gamut in the truest of fashion. For those in search of poppier polemics, see below, y’all.
Based on the machinelike intensity and production of Struck and company, there may already be a subsequent single by the time this hits digital newsstands, but I’m here to hip you to the latest from Scary Hours. While not altogether a departure, “I’ll Meet You There” bears little resemblance to a good deal of what I’d come to expect.
Aside from a title that has ensured I’ll be humming the Staple Singers classic “I’ll Take You There” until well into 2023, the standalone single is an instantly memorable slab of melodic hardcore and pop-punk that calls to mind Comeback Kid, A Wilhelm Scream, New Found Glory, and Kid Dynamite. No matter the earworm-worthy couplets and sticky chorus, what remains unchanged is the spirit of untethered ire and righteous indignation that’s forever at the core of Scary Hours.
While still living in the catch-all world of punk and hardcore, the single is but another circle added to an increasingly oversized Venn diagram. Vocally, Struck vacillates deftly from an urgent and throaty scream à la Touché Amoré to the cleanest material we’ve heard as of yet.
Fittingly for a band that once appeared on a New Found Glory tribute album, they attack their pop-punk like a hardcore band which, if you ask me, makes for the only kind I need to hear. Another win for Scary Hours isn’t a surprise. What’s a surprise, and frankly “scary," is how Ryan finds the “hours.” Special shout out to bands that never sit still. We’re endlessly grateful.
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