originally posted on Wednesday, 19 June 2013
About a year ago, I had the pleasure of discovering Minnesota rock band New Medicine. The band managed to develop an important friendship with rising rock superstars Halestorm, so I saw New Medicine when they opened for Halestorm along with Ottawa band Doll. I had heard of New Medicine before; they had toured in the first ever Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival on the second stage, but unfortunately something got messed up during the Toronto stop on that tour and both stages played at the same time, so I never got the chance to see them perform.
I had already listened to a few songs, and at first I’ll admit it didn’t catch my attention the way it eventually would. I’m a man who always catches the opening acts, after missing bands like Bullet For My Valentineand Stone Sour, both bands who I now love but thought I didn’t at the time so I skipped out on their show (BFMV I have seen twice after, but it could have been three times). Anyway, I was taken by how New Medicine won over the crowd. Before they went on, the crowd insisted on chanting “we want Halestorm” over and over, even while New Medicine came on, but it took a couple of songs in their set to shut the crowd up and get them cheering. After their VERY energetic show, when picking up their CD, I met the band. Most of the guys were concentrated on quickly shaking hands and signing the CDs of the newly gained fans, which is understandable, but bassist Matt Brady took the time to talk to every single fan, and didn’t rush them at all and actually tracked a few people down with CDs that he didn’t sign. I’ve been to shows where musicians do that and those are always the best kind.
So the band does have one album out, called Race You To The Bottom, which was released in 2010. The album is a display of the fun pop/hard rock sound that the band plays. The first single from the album is its first track, Laid. This track starts of wit the hard bashing of drums accompanied by a well grooved guitar riff. Vocalist Jake Scherer does a good job at keeping the energy up with his fun and free punk styled of singing. His rather high pitched voice helps the bands signature sound. Other fun songs to laid are its following track Rich Kids, which as the title would imply is saying screw you to rich kids. It has a hip hop feel to it, with its consistent beat and rapping style vocals, but its chorus and bridge redeem this as a definite hard rocker. Later track American Wasted is similar in the sense that it is very much a rap rock song.
The band shows their lighter more serious side at many points on the album. The track Little Sister is a personal homage to the loss of Jake’s sister, and as he described during their live set, every member of the band had experienced a close loss so it was personal to all of them. The song effectively gets its point across to any listener who has lost a loved one in their family. Its pace slows right down from the two tracks that come before it. It is not a ballad, its hard drum beat keep that from happening. This song is what I like to call a powerful song, a song where if it were any softer, even in the slightest, it would be a ballad, but there is something that catches you that a ballad just couldn’t. Baby’s Gone continues the soft side of the band. Again it’s not a ballad, despite its slow pace. It is, as the title suggests, a song about love loss, so the music fits that kind of style.
End of the World is another fun rock song, this time taking out all rap influences. Resolve To Fighttakes the fun rock sound to a new level and mixes the fun sound with an angry sound, effectively making it a good song to listen to when its listener is angry, but also when its listener wants to party. I wouldn’t play this song at a party though…things might get broken. The title track Race You To The Bottom is the last of the party anthems. This song brings back the rap element to the band’s sound.
One track that is hard to categorize is Never Heard. It sounds like absolutely nothing else on the album. It is a fun song, with a serious feeling to its background. It is more fun to listen to than something like Baby’s Gone, but its more serious than a song like Laid. It is definitely one of the better songs from the album and does a terrific job at changing things up for the album.
The album ends on a softer note with the musically intelligent Sun Goes Down. This track, my personal favourite from the album, goes back and forth from the soft sound of Baby’s Gone in to a nice hard chorus. It isn’t the most fun song from the album, but it’s not the saddest song either. I’m not sure if it was the best track to end the album. It left someone like me wanting more from the band but I’d have thought one of the more fun songs such as the title track would have been a better ender for the album. Either way the album ends with a song that shows the strong musicianship of the band.
This album is one of the better modern rock albums in terms of originality. I personally cannot think of another band that sounds like them. The album is filled with tracks that take you on an adventure, just when you think the band is just a bunch of party hungry kids, they turn around and slap a serious song on that is hard not to love.
“It’s A War” – It was hard to pick a highlight for this album, but that happens a lot. I chose this song because it is fun all the way through, even though much like Never Heard it has a very serious nature to it. I figure this would be the best first song to hear from the album mostly because I feel this is Jake’s best vocal performance on the whole album. Something that completely differentiates this song from all others is its 90’s influence to its sound. The song is a song of rebellion against people like your boss who you just wish you could control for once.
8.5 (Out of 10)
|“End of the World”||3:11|
|“Resolve to Fight”||2:59|
|“It’s a War”||3:33|
|“Race You to the Bottom”||2:57|
|“Sun Goes Down”||3:12|