There's simply no other way to put it: Josh Scogin is a fucking maniac.
The man has had one of the most illustrious careers in modern heavy music, and has blessed head-bangers far and wide with some of the gnarliest albums to have ever ripped. Whether you followed Josh as the frontman of metalcore champions Norma Jean, or as the voice of urgency and disarray in the Chariot, his contributions to the scene have been as constant as they have been irrefutable. Luckily, Scogin has more to give, as evidenced by his newest release from '68, an Atlanta noise rock duo Scogin formed shortly after the disbandment of fan favourites the Chariot.
Two Parts Viper is the band's second go-around, having debuted and impressed in 2014 with their initial full-length release, In Humor and Sadness. While Humor drew comparisons to Nirvana's Bleach, the chaos felt somewhat contained, and the instrumentation a little thin — not good for a noise rock release. Humor left room for improvement, and Two Parts Viper has moved right on in.
Two Parts announces itself with a "Eulogy"-esque knock that suggests Tool is at the door, before kicking it down as you press your face to the peephole. "Eventually We All Win" will immediately win over the affection of Scogin fans, sounding like it easily could have been cut from the Chariot's One Wing. The two-minute flirt of a track will hook longtime fans with a taste of vintage Scogin, but offers enough novelty to compel first-timers, too.
Having grasped the listener, the album takes a quick turn, favouring a rock'n'roll backbone reminiscent of a pissed-off Black Keys. You're thinking that's been done before? It has. But Two Parts is laced with avant-garde passages that breathe new life into a somewhat mono-dimensional genre that's been treading water since 2010.
Tracks like "Whether Terrified or Unafraid" and "This Life Is Old, New, Borrowed and Blue" feature schizophrenic vocals that loop, cut, splice, distort, detune, reappear and wash away without warning. "No Montage" makes use of a detuned piano pulled straight from an Arizona saloon circa 1865, "No Apologies" is tied together by distant, isolated-sounding spoken word, and "Life Has its Design" could only be described as Southern industrial, if such a thing can exist.
Two Parts Viper is really damn interesting, to say the least. Do not be deterred by Scogin's past endeavours; this is not a metal album — not even close. This is lyrical, groovy, poignant, unimpeded and, above all else, creative. (Cooking Vinyl)