By: Geoff Teach
Upon first hearing the hard rock deliciousness that is Count Rugen’s “Chapter 1”, I’m reminded of those heady days of the mid 1990’s, when I was just a teen trying my best to cope with adolescence, high school, and being afflicted with ugly glasses, braces, and long hair. While my personal life during that time certainly had its share of issues, I still fondly remember the music and music culture of that particular era. MTV still played music videos, local radio stations Q101 and Rock 103.5 were at the top of their games when it came to staying abreast of the newest and best in rock and metal, and there was certainly no shortage of new music to choose from. Music scenes from all over the country were being invaded by A & R scouts from major labels (including Chicago by the later 90’s), and it truly seemed like there were new songs from new artists being premiered nearly every single day. Hearing Count Rugen’s sound blasts me back to memories of these strange and metamorphic days of my younger life.
Reminiscent of a heavy Toadies somehow thrown together with the passionate delivery and energy of early Incubus, Count Rugen’s first official E.P., “Chapter 1”, is a collection of five songs that would’ve rocked the socks off of the flannel clad teens of the 90’s, but since it was written over the course of the past year, it’s even more daring, and subsequently, more amazing. The E.P. begins with the powerful and thought-provoking “Letter to God”. Count Rugen uses both dual vocals and dual guitars to increase the impact of the music itself, and the end result is simply beautiful, with tracks such as “Lying is a Self-Defense Mechanism” and “There’s No Such Thing as Ghosts”, the quartet delivers weighty and stirring hard rock that is as beautiful as it is emotive. “Nothing at All” is a fine ditty, displaying plenty of slap bass and screamy vocals, but nothing on the album tops the last track, “Oh…You’ll Remember Me”, a heart-wrenching and splendidly written song that displays all of the talents of the band at once, from the wonderful vocals, soaring and airy guitars, and tight rhythms from the drums and bass. Overall, Count Rugen’s “Chapter 1” is wonderfully produced, expertly written, and very easy to relate to. I highly suggest picking up your own copy when it is officially released early November, 2013!
To check out Count Rugen and keep up with their upcoming live performances, head here: