After putting out a killer debut full-length Symptoms of Modern Hegemony which v13.net called “an out-and-out beatdown” and Distorted Sound Magazine called “a masterclass in punk,” prolific NJ songwriter Ryan Struck is back with his visionary punk project SCARY HOURS for a poignant and autobiographical take on self-destruction entitled “I’ll Meet You There.” The song is as melodic, aggressive, insightful, catchy as hell, and it drops on streaming platforms November 25th via Pyrrhic Victory Recordings.
Here’s what Ryan had to say about the writing and what he’s been up to since the release of the critically acclaimed LP Symptoms of Modern Hegemony: “The types of songs I’m writing are always changing (hopefully evolving). Thing is, they’re always 100% real and reflect my state at the time they’re written. I’m still angry as ever and that’s been a common thread in a lot of what I’ve written over the years. Many folks, myself included, bask in that chronic state of anger. I’m thinking about things a little differently now, though. What are we doing with it? Where do we put it?”
“This song was an interesting exercise because I allowed myself to explore it rather than to just describe what it feels like to grit our teeth or beat the shit out of ourselves or kick the dog or whatever. I wanted to figure out what’s really going on inside when we start to feel like we can’t take anymore. I think for a lot of us, we have a tendency to make things worse with self-destructive patterns. For me, it’s booze. Maybe for you it’s cake or shopping. Either way, when things go bad, we always know where we can go to make it worse and I thought that would make for a great chorus.”
“Part of learning to break self-destructive habits and routines is learning to take cues from your own brain about how that impulse starts.” – he continues. “It takes a lot of practice and it can be challenging. It’s fucked up how, often, we lean on what we think are crutches to get through a hard time, but those crutches in the world of addiction can lead to our undoing. For me, I was drinking way too much for way too long. It’s like living that meme where you’re jamming a stick into the spokes of your bike wheel and then crying when you bust your knee, but you don’t even know why. ‘I’ll Meet You There’ was an exercise in detailing those cues I was talking about and reminding myself that no matter how shitty things get, I have a key to this trap door that can take me even lower; it’s not an escape, it’s a trap.”
“Music has played such a pivotal role in how I view the world and hold my emotions, so I wanted to share some of my favorite songs about addiction and/or recovery. Don’t worry, there’s no fuckin’ Staind or Pink on my Recovery Picks playlist below, just some good old fashioned drinking songs to remind me of where I came from (and maybe a couple of guilty pleasures).”
On the musical inspiration and recording, Struck shared: “I felt I needed to purge some aggression and that’s where Symptoms sits for me. I’ve always appreciated the melodic side of hardcore and wanted to get back in touch with some of the straightforward-sounding elements of the skatepunk I grew up with. Songwriters like Joey Cape, Chris Cresswell, and Tony Sly use this format as a vessel for their own songs, so I thought I would try my hand at it. At the risk of seeming derivative, I’ve become increasingly enamored by Ezra Kire’s honest lyricism and diverse styling and I derived a lot of inspiration from him and his personal journey. Any Morning Glory or LoC fans will probably pick that up. But at the end of the day, I really wanted to write the type of song you can sit with and contemplate or just pick up a skateboard and vibe with.”
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Ryan Struck grew up on the outskirts of New York City on the ethos and sound of punk and hardcore, honing his songwriting craft through the years to represent diverse genres and formats under the moniker of Scary Hours.
His self-produced solo anti-folk record “Live to Serve” was released in 2018 with critical success. In 2020, with rising political tensions and his newfound sobriety, Struck ditched “witty and unsettling anti-folk, informed by his past in hardcore punk bands” (Ghettoblaster Magazine) in favor of the more brazen sonic onslaught of the hardcore and punk he grew up on.
In May 2020, Pyrrhic Victory Recordings released the “incendiary and socio-politically on-target “Bullet Fairy,” which rails against unchecked police brutality, especially against minorities” (Big Takeover) as worldwide tensions boiled over into the streets. In November 2020, Scary Hours returned with Margins (Pyrrhic Victory (US) / Engineer Records (EU), an 8-song blistering hardcore punk attack that is full of anger, intensity, and Ryan’s desire to be a voice of change.
June 25th 2021 began a year of steady releases with “Precision Grooming,” a scathing critique of the justice system in the wake of convicted murderer Derek Chauvin’s lenient sentence. Several other singles/videos were released while a band was assembled featuring members of Knuckle Up, Ides, and Inside the Beehive, toiling away at Ryan’s home studio on what would become “Symptoms of Modern Hegemony.” The album showcases diverse musical influences blending thrash, skatepunk, beatdown, and straight-up hardcore punk with Struck’s brash, incensed vocal delivery and unique cadence. Each song takes a dive into the political and social issues that become more urgent with each passing day with a clear mantra: “we scream louder when we scream together.” “Symptoms of Modern Hegemony” will be released July 29th 2022 via Pyrrhic Victory Recordings.