New Medicine “Breaking the Model”

New Medicine are a band I’ve known of for a few years now. I’ve discussed my story of how I found out about them in my review of their previous album Race You To The Bottom, which is an album that I still thoroughly enjoy, so I was more than happy when I was asked to review their soon-to-be released follow-up album Breaking The Model. I then found out that since the release of Race You To The Bottom, New Medicine has changed their rhythm section due to bassist Matt Brady and drummer Ryan Guanzon leaving the band for separate reasons. Does this change in personnel change things for New Medicine’s sound?

Since this album has yet to be released, this article as of yet has very little musical content for me to provide for your listening pleasures

Well, opening (and title) track Breaking The Model doesn’t really suggest so. The song adopts a rap rock sound, something used on a few (frankly my least favourite) moments on Race You To The Bottom, so it’s nothing new to their sound. Just like their past rap influenced rock songs, the chorus of the song is something rather special and keeps the song worth listening to.

The first song released from the album, One Too Many is jumpy and fun. I can see pop rock fans enjoying the song, but I don’t. It can get a little annoying and it is a step backward in the maturity of the band. It is followed by Broken Girl, which takes on a dark and playful sound, but I find it to be much better than One Too Many and the first song on the album that really caught my attention. Like One Too Many, Like a Rose is jumpy and (a tad less) fun, but I find it to be a little catchier. However, it also makes me question whether the band has gained much maturity in between albums. Heart With Your Name On It has a punk influence to it that the rest of the album doesn’t, which makes it stand out above most other songs on the album.

New Medicine don’t seem to be afraid of releasing slower songs. They had some good ones from the first album (Little Sister and Baby’s Gone) and they show that they haven’t lost their touch with All About Me; an acoustic heavy song which also features a string section predominantly throughout. This is the first sign on the album that shows me that maybe they have matured as songwriters. It’s not earth changing, but it is opinion changing.

A major difference between Breaking The Model compared to Race You To The Bottom is the increase in rap rock songs. Desire Into Gold, while a little more heavy and intense, features heavy rap influence in its beat and its verses. World Class Fuck Up is the worst of these rap rock songs. There’s nothing to this song that keeps my interest and Jake Scherer’s voice can get to be a bit annoying to listen to at points, reminiscent of One Too Many. Dead Love Song is heavily rap rock influenced from a musical perspective, but not a vocal perspective. It is also the most serious sounding of the albums rap rock tracks. The last song with rap rock influence, though this one is more subtle than the rest of them, is Fire Up The Night. Again, the hip hop influence is shown in the song’s music and not its singing, mixed with an alternative sounding chorus and poppy hooks.

New Medicine ends Breaking the Model with Boy Like Me; a slower track which isn’t quite a ballad but not heavy enough to be a hard rock song. I think it makes for a good closer. It is well written and it may not stick in your head instantly, but you remember the way you feel when listening to it, especially if you can relate to the lyrics that are being sung.

If I hadn’t heard of New Medicine prior to getting Breaking the Model, I’m not quite sure of how much I’d enjoy them. I’m sure I’d still be pleased with the album, but at the same time it would escape my memory quicker than I’d like to admit. But since I did know of the band prior, I can compare this effort with their previous album and state my disappointment. Race You To The Bottom had some great tracks, including Baby’s Gone, Never Heard, the title track Race You To The Bottom and its closer Sun Goes Down. These songs all showed some great maturity, which was surprising to me because they spent most of their time promoting Rich Kids and Laid, which I understand because they are catchy, and to have a hit you need a song that people remember (and don’t get me wrong, Laid is an exceptionally well written tune.)

This time around New Medicine seems to have put far more concentration on one-upping the catchiness of their tunes rather than one-upping their song writing, which is where Breaking the Model loses me. Songs like Desire Into Gold, Dead Love Song and All About Me show signs of the New Medicine I was hoping for, but it seems they decided to take a direction that I’m not okay with, despite the album still being very listenable for the most part. The hooks of each song are well thought up, for the most part, and in many ways I can see it opening their sound to a broader audience.

ALBUM HIGHLIGHT

Breaking the Model” –­ With the increase in rap rock on the album, a rap rock song seemed appropriate to be the highlight. I pick the title track to Breaking the Model because it’s not the most intense of songs on the album, but it’s not the most playful of songs either. It shows the bands bigger lean toward rap rock compared to Race You To The Bottom, for those who know the album of course. And for those who don’t, well let’s just say I think it was smart to make this song the opening track.

FINAL RATING

7 (Out of 10)

Track List:

1

Breaking the Model

New Medicine

3:38

2

Desire Into Gold

New Medicine

2:52

3

One Too Many

New Medicine

3:23

4

Broken Girl

New Medicine

3:25

5

All About Me

New Medicine

3:12

6

World Class Fuck Up

New Medicine

2:52

7

Dead Love Song

New Medicine

2:40

8

Like a Rose

New Medicine

3:26

9

Heart With Your Name On It 

New Medicine

2:52

10

Fire Up the Night

New Medicine

2:59

11

Boy Like Me

New Medicine

3:40

 

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