From the opening riff, this record will blow you away. Aside from these five powerful new tracks that could have carried a solid EP on its own, they threw in three cover songs that are perhaps, better than the originals. Opening with a cover from fellow Canadian, Leonard Cohen, “You Want It Darker” is a fitting opener. Soon to be classics, like “Thread” and “Death by Committee” hit you hard while giving you just enough melody to satisfy the soul. Gob’s “reign On Your Parade”, “Pressure Cooker” and “Scattered” only solidify what I have been talking about. A fitting end to the record with Snapcase’s “Ambition Now”, make you want to go start investigating their back catalog, because they have been putting out music since 2008 and somehow, I missed it. Anyhow, I caught up with THE NEW ENEMY‘s singer, Clint McLean and he gave us the run-down with a track by track explanation of “Illusion of Choice”
YOU WANT IT DARKER
Leonard Cohen is a Canadian music legend. When he passed away in 2016 we started discussing the idea of a cover song. Both musically and lyrically, You Want It Darker had a heavy gravitas already, so it felt like a natural choice. The lyrical content of religious justifications and contradictions definitely resonated too.
Modern conveniences and technologies are pulling us in a million directions. Distracted by shiny objects, a notification on our phone carries more weight than real life interactions. We create unnecessary goals and hurdles, become consumed by them, and egotistically convince ourselves of their importance
When a prominent figure is accused of heinous acts, the cliche list of excuses and solutions are trotted out. Rehab, finding religion, disingenuous apologies and explanations. Much of it comes across as thinly veiled attempts to save face with no genuine remorse. For this song, it didn’t seem appropriate to be writing and singing about certain sentiments without a female perspective/voice. So, we enlisted the help of our friend Jessica Meers for collaboration. The raw emotion she brought was palpable.
Based on the true story of a Canadian couple with mental health and addiction issues who were unwittingly turned into home-grown terrorists by the federal police in an attempt to create positive press for the “fight against terrorism”. Frighteningly, this scenario is more common than most realize.
Reign on Your Parade
Collectively one of our favorite childhood bands, Gob seemed like an obvious choice to cover. Their 1999 album How Far Shallow Takes You had a heavier vibe then their previous release. The song Reign on Your Parade in particular. Sadly, the lyrical content of religious leaders taking advantage of children is still relevant 20 years later.
Death by Committee
When major tragedies occur in North America it’s common practice for governments to form committees and initiate inquires to further understand the cause. These placate the public and create the appearance of action. In reality, these mostly serve as lip service and photo ops for indifferent politicians. Most conclude with a list of recommendations that are never enacted for a variety of political and financial reasons.
Countless people are curating their online persona to create an image of perfection that’s neither real nor realistic. Social media doesn’t necessarily create narcissists, but it provides them with a platform and easy admiration unlike anything in the past. While some see through this facade, others become jealous and depressed that their lives aren’t as “good”, creating a potentially dangerous toxicity.
Snapcase’s ongoing evolution and expansion of sound beyond typical hardcore punk was always an inspiration for us. Five minutes after our drummer joined the band, he started insisting that we cover Ambition Now. A mere ten years later his wish came true! Coincidently, we got to see Snapcase play in Buffalo days after Illusion of Choice was completed. It definitely felt like a fitting conclusion to the creation of this record.