Singer/Songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ryan Struck grew up in Northern New Jersey, cutting his teeth in various punk and hardcore bands through his teen years and early 20s. Over time, varied musical interests influenced him to write songs deemed unfit for such an abrasive format, at least initially. The songs blended musical elements of pop, emo revival, and folk, while still propagating the confrontational lyrical spirit of punk and hardcore.
Scary Hours first found its home with New Jersey label Pyrrhic Victory Recordings when the first single “Live to Serve/Serve to Live” was released with a warm critical response, making Jack Rabid’s Big Takeover “Best of 2018” list. Then LP “Live to Serve” was released in early 2019 and was also well received, getting great reviews from the likes of Ghettoblaster, Vinyl District, Big Takeover and others.
In May 2020, Scary Hours returned with "Bullet Fairy," a new single that leaves the acoustic in its case and serves as a scathing rebuttal of right-wing political policy and police brutality. Here, Struck shows his diversity, as he returns to his hardcore roots, perhaps perceived as a better medium for addressing the political content he feels compelled to express and address.
In late 2020, Scary Hours returned with “Margins”, an 8 song blistering hardcore punk attack that is full of anger, intensity and acute awareness and articulation, showing his evolution and grasp of the reality he lives in, his disgust for many aspects of it, and his desire to be a voice of change.
Struck says himself about the record: “With no shortage of things to write about, the record came together pretty quickly. 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. The sentiment is highlighted in the title track and carried through pretty much the whole record.”
The Big takeover :
North Jersey-based singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Ryan Struck, recording under the moniker Scary Hours, is unleashing his raging and socio-politically relevant album, Margins, today November 27th, a split label release between Pyrrhic Victory Recordings in the US and Engineer Records in the UK/EU.
Margins follows up first single “Live to Serve/Serve to Live,” which made our own *Jack Rabid’*s Big Takeover “Best of 2018” list, and debut album Live to Serve, that was released in early 2019 to a warm critical and fan reception.
Before that Struck had played in various punk and hardcore bands through his teen years and early 20s. He branched out as a solo artist, crafting songs that blend musical elements of pop, emo revival, and folk, while still propagating the confrontational lyrical spirit of punk and hardcore.
On Margins, he returns to his hardcore roots, perhaps with the intent that this genre is a better medium for addressing the political content he feels compelled to express and address.
The eight potent hardcore punk songs on the LP tackle tough issues head-on, from chronicling the abuse against those who are marginalized by society and who are trying to survive to the specific scourges of nationalism, capitalism, alcoholism, and oppression.
Big Takeover is stoked to host the premiere of Margins in its entirety on the day of its release. The record is a blistering hardcore punk attack that is full of anger and intensity, but also an acute awareness and articulation.
Struck details the reality that he, and that we all, live in, his disgust for many aspects of it, and his desire to be a voice of positive change. His powerful lyrical missives are matched by his incendiary hardcore punk music, with each song exploding with fierce and fiery truth bombs.
Struck’s frenetic, end-of-tether exclamations fly by in time with the rapid-fire drum strikes, clanging cymbals hits, scrambling and jagged guitar blaze, and low-end bass line grind on each track.
Some numbers plow through with an unrelentingly fast ‘n’ furious pace (careening “Worthwhile Victims” and “Cost of Living,” and a breakneck cover of Bad Brain’s “How Low Can a Punk Get”), while others go for a more melodic hardcore sound (“When E-Thugs Are About” and “Russian Cousins”).
Some songs alternate between full-bore hardcore and catchier punk sections, like the fervently roaring title track, galloping “Normal’s Not New,” and the album-ending detonation that is “Shell Beach.”
Earlier this year, Struck released the timely “Bullet Fairy,” a single that serves as a scathing rebuttal of right-wing political policy and police brutality. Margins is a continuation of Struck directly confronting what is messed-up and destructive in our society.
Struck goes into the meaning behind Margins, revealing, “With no shortage of things to write about, the record came together pretty quickly. 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. The sentiment is highlighted in the title track and carried through pretty much the whole record.”
Jersey Beat :
Ryan Struck is a one-man hardcore whirlwind on Margins, a politically charged assault upon the ugliness and hypocrisy that emerged over the past four years but had been long festering. The opening “Worthwhile Victims” sings (screams, really) of asylum seekers in cages, babies in cribs made of chainlike fencing, and “Bible-thumping bigots” over a bed of searing guitar. What I find the most impressive about Struck’s work is the sneaky sense of harmony he injects into each track, particular on “Normal’s Not New”. As he roars about economic disparity and free market, the chorus has a hook that is indefinably melodic. There is a boldness to Struck’s work as Scary Hours from both a lyrical and musical sense, as he successfully covers “How Low Can a Punk Get” from punk godfathers Bad Brains. There is always a risk in covering legends, but this version retains the original fury but is much more than a color by numbers style homage. “Cost of Living” is a rightfully dark blast of angered hardcore with a devastating breakdown and thick guitar riff that channels the best of bands like Cro-Mags and Sick of it All. “Russian Cousin” shifts gears slightly and returns to a less brusque form of guitar post-punk with a blazingly quick chorus. The closing “Shell Beach” is nearly twice as long as any of other tracks, clocking in at nearly five minutes. This expanse of time allows Struck to place all of his skills on display, from rumbling bass lines to cleaner vocals, and put forth a song of greater complexity without becoming repetitive. The desperation of the times detailed is heard in the pained nature of Struck’s vocals and the eight songs on Margins truly are a soundtrack for the angst and fear that will continue to infest the country, even if the occupant in the White House has changed.
Thoughts Words Action :
Scary Hours is a singular punk rock machinery entirely operated by Ryan Struck. Growing up in Northern Jersey, Ryan experienced working with various hardcore and punk rock groups, which helped him out to become an accomplished singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. The variety of genres shaped his music taste throughout the years, so you may hear how hardcore punk, melodic hardcore, melodic punk rock, folk punk, emo revival influenced his composing and songwriting. Throughout the years, Scary Hours has released loads of singles, such as Live To Serve / Serve To Live 7”, Recurring Daydream, Angels, and Bullet Fairy. Then a tribute to Dead Kennedys came out, including Nazi Punks Fuck Off and Religious Vomit and a digital single named Cost Of Living. In the meantime, Scary Hours also released a full-length compact disc called Live To Serve with eleven compelling punk rock compositions for Pyrrhic Victory Records.
Margins is a following mini-album by Scary Hours, which contains eight compositions that serve as a proper continuation to the preceding full-length. Besides six brand new numbers, this material also includes a previously digitally released single Cost Of Living and How Low Can A Punk Get as a tribute to the legendary Bad Brains. Through Margins, Scary Hours vividly depicts the downfall of contemporary society, where the existence of fraudulent democracy became an excuse for imperial occupation, promotion of racial segregation, xenophobia, and nationalism. Some compositions are pointing out how the greedy capitalists are using global crisis, recession, and panic to gain more wealth. The remaining portion of this material deals with the Marxist theory of capitalist alienation, working-class heroes, marginalized communities who’re uprising against the system, voting, human relations, anxiety, and sobriety.
This particular material unquestionably showcases how the abovementioned genres thoroughly influenced Ryan’s songwriting and composing. Each composition includes fragments of old school hardcore punk, modern melodic hardcore, and melodic punk rock. However, Ryan catalyzes his emotions through emotive chants that are levitating between ferocious screams and polyphonous vocal articulations. There are even some post-hardcore aesthetics included at particular segments that will, without any doubt, find their way to the potential admirers of this specific sound. On the other hand, the thematics covered in this material are contributing an extra layer of ravaging angst pointed out directly towards all the injustices concealed within contemporary society. Margins distribute the ultimate dynamics through vigorous hardcore punk songs but also offers moderate polyphonous anthems that are suiting modern melodic punk rock trends.
Margins come on a compact disc and are currently up for preorders at Engineer Records in UK and Pyrrhic Victory Records in the US. Don’t miss the chance to preserve your copy if you’re into politically charged hardcore punk music, decorated with some modern melodic punk rock aesthetics.
Singer-songwriter Ryan Struck, who flies under the moniker of Scary Hours, creates witty and unsettling anti-folk, informed by his past in hardcore punk bands. The confrontational ethos of punk is hard to shake, especially when you live the daily grind of commuting to work from New Jersey to New York City. Struck is keen to vocalize his compelling diatribes on various matters regarding the state of the world, and does so with unbridled, tuneful panache
Mad Mackerel :
Scary Hours create unsettling and raw anti-folk, rich with socio-political humor and the confrontational spirit of punk and hardcore...the debut album is more basement show than coffee shop – Elvis Costello meets Lawrence Arms maybe, or possibly a Bukowski-esque Bright Eyes.
Live to Serve is superbly wrought, full of droll humor mirroring the punk attitude of quarreling with the seemingly irrelevant treadmill of the world, with all its ridiculous flaws. Scary Hours, aka Ryan Struck, comments with stylish flair and clever lyricism on matters sublime and absurd.