October 1, 2014 New Medicine – Breaking the Model (Album Review)
Young rockers New Medicine burst onto the scene in 2010 with their debut studio album Race You to the Bottom and in just four short years managed to make their way onto the mainstream rock charts and major tours. Having hit the road with bands such as Avenged Sevenfold, Halestorm and Stone Sour, New Medicine has had plenty of opportunity to learn a few tricks. Now, with the release of their second studio album, Breaking the Model, the guys are putting everything they have learned to the test.
With a sound that can only be described as a fusion between Nine Inch Nails techno-phonics layered under funk-laced rock and rhythm, New Medicine crack open Breaking the Model with its title track. The hyper-bouncy, uber infectious tune jump-starts this album and sets the pace for the steamroller of tracks to follow. Bringing in their “party rock” side, New Medicine describe one hell of a night out in “One Too Many.” This track is a lot of fun in the way in which rips and rolls through a slurry of poor decisions and features classic rock n’ roll riffs in true party anthem fashion. “Broken Girl” has a smoky and almost bluesy feel with the sliding guitar parts and nostalgia about a love lost. This is not to say this song is anything close to a ballad, on the contrary it is a jazzy, up-tempo track that has a very familiar feel. From the dejected love story to the lamenting of a life lost to obscurity and self-pity, New Medicine insert “All About Me.” This ballad is simple and powerful in its delivery with notes and emotions similar to Matchbox Twenty’s “Bent.” Not ones to leave the party too early, the guys take the ride back up to the top with “World Class Fuck Up.” The anthem of the self-amused and politically irresponsible, this song is prime dance party material and makes it hard to sit still.
The vocal commands of Jake Scherer continue to take center stage in “Dead Love Song” with its ’90s rock reminiscent simplicity and clean and clear presentation. Despite delving into the tech sound effect toy box from time to time, the guys still manage to create an ambiance that meshes with the message of the end of a romance with breaks that ring of punk influence. “Like A Rose” starts out with heavy techno effects and between the beats and chugging guitar, and the way it rolls into a Rage Against The Machine touched vocal performance and assembly, this track will have you singing along in no time. It’s easy to hear the various influences in Breaking the Model, but the most predominant is early 90s rock and punk. With the way they roll their drums, stick the bass and slide the guitars, New Medicine are a new hybrid that pairs the uninhibited freedom of being young and dumb with technical aspects that help to, at times, throw listeners off their scent. “Fire Up The Night” brings in a more dominant hip-hop influence with Scherer’s semi-rap/spoken word vocal delivery accented by pounding drums, further punctuating the chorus. Bringing the party to an end on a more serious note, New Medicine delivers more sobering and heartrending track, “Boy Like Me.” On this song Scherer sings of a girl who comprises his every thought, but is sadly beyond his reach. He bewails the absence of her and how her lack of attainability is ensnared in her lack of desire for him. Alongside “All About Me,” this track is the most sobering of the album’s offerings and therefore one of the most genuine. It’s refreshing to be reminded that despite how they may like it to be New Medicine even acknowledges that at some point the party ends.
Rife with both the exciting and at times excruciatingly wound-up feel-good anthems, Breaking the Model is an eclectic mix of varying avenues of rock n’ roll. With their efforts at expanding their reach and diversifying their repertoire, New Medicine have developed a new deviation in the industry, seemingly marked by some that came before. Those looking for something that will go over well at the next house party or something to hardcore jam and dance to, this album is perfect. CrypticRock gives Breaking the Model 4 out of 5 stars.