2020 was a wild ride for just about everybody: civil unrest, a pandemic, just an all around bad time. To Ryan Struck, the North Jersey born musician, this meant a change in gears.
Struck grew up cutting his teeth in the hardcore and punk scene of New Jersey, but with some years under his belt, he wanted to pursue something that included all his musical interests, and thus began recording under the name, Scary Hours, a “pop, emo revival, and folk” project. However, with 2020 being a notoriously upsetting year, Struck immediately resorted back to his roots and dropped a very pissed off single in May of 2020 titled “Bullet Fairy”, in which his punk and hardcore spirit shined through, spouting such confrontational lyrics such as “When they flooded the streets with fucking drugs and police// It was a propaganda party for the G.O.P.”
Only a few months later, in July of 2020, Struck and Scary Hours dropped another single titled “Cost of Living”, which was accompanied by a video that showed clips of pigs to the slaughter, soldiers marching and prescription pills. There seemed to be a theme now, you could tell something was not sitting right with Struck and the only way he knew how to express it was through hard riffs, pounding drums and abrasive vocals.
All this built up to November of 2020 when, through Pyrrhic Victory Recordings (USA) and Engineer Records (UK/EU), Scary Hours’ brand new album? EP? Whatever it maybe it’s 8, hard ass songs, of anger, angst and emotion, titled “Margins” dropped.
“I thought “Margins” was an appropriate title, as marginalization is a heavy theme on this record. For the LBGTQ and BIPOC communities, minorities, and those who seek to speak out and denounce their systemic oppression, to merely exist is an act of rebellion.” This is how Struck put it, and from the moment you hit play on the opening track “Worthwhile Victims”, to a cover of Bad Brains “How Low Can a Punk Get?”, until the end of the last track “Shell Beach”, the narrative shifts, but never changes.
Anybody who has had a hard time lately and wants a record to help blow off some steam, give “Margins” a listen because there are great moments throughout the entire album, especially for fans of Comeback Kid or Have Heart you couldn’t go wrong with picking up a copy. If you’re left wanting more catch Scary Hours video of “Worthwhile Victims” up on Hardcore World Wide’s YouTube channel.
-Reviewed by Cody