Two Parts Viper is the latest album from the Hard Rock band ’68, though this was my introduction to the band. Their name ’68 comes from front man Josh Scogin’s 1968 Camero that his father owned and they both bonded over [s]. Like an old car, their music is loud, explosive, and in your face. They fall very much into the category of Blues inspired Rock musicians like Jack White, including much earlier bands like Led Zeppelin and more contemporary ones like Rival Sons. They like to play with their volume, switching back between quiet minimalism and wall-of-sound heavy Rock. This is the little spice that keeps them from sounding too generic. The production on this album is very professionally done, to the point where I was shocked that this group is just a duo, one guitarist and one drummer. The guitar tone is just perfect, so bass heavy and hard hitting that it carries the album on it’s back.
The opener Eventually We All Win starts off quiet with just Scogin’s filtered singing and a woodblock but the explosion into the Hard Rock is incredible. It’s quickly followed up by the anthemic Whether Terrified Or Unafraid, and the crowd singing chorus is impossible not to sing along with:
“I coulda been anyone from anywhere
but I chose to be me, from right here!”
No Apologies takes their musical ideas to the extremes, the guitars get even more distorted and brutal and Scogin’s singing boils down to spoken word. It’s an interesting piece that remains catchy as the experience changes drastically. Death Is A Lottery might be my favorite song on the album, it’s got some demented Sludge-infused guitars that add that extra little oomph to their already heavy sound. This album does rock, but the problem for me is that it’s not the Rock that I’m in to right now. At some point in my past I would’ve loved the hell out of this album, but right now it’s just pretty good, and fantastic in small doses. Check it out, maybe this is just right for you for the same reasons it’s not quite right for me.