’68 Gives One, Takes One And Still Leaves Us Wanting More

Let me preface this with the statement that there doesn’t seem to be anything “new” musically on this album, but that is not a bad thing. From start to finish this is a rowdy and rambunctious ride that doesn’t let up. Which I would expect nothing less.

The album opens with “The Knife, The Knife, The Knife” which is the perfect opener with lines like “step aside and let the audience just sing along” and “we got the vaccine so the disease cannot shake me Lord.” It sets the tone for the album as a whole. This is followed by “Bad Bite” which is the standout track of the album and really showcases both Josh and Niko’s musical abilities. In addition, the music video adds to the creativity that seems to ooze from Scogin’s every pore. “Bad Bite” easily transitions in to “Nickels and Diamonds” and could easily get confused as a singular, albeit long, song.

“What You Feed” ushers in the middle section of the album and has some of the best guitar work on the album, and possibly even the whole 68 discography. “What You Starve” is the other side of the coin with “What You Feed” as it slows down the tempo slightly and gives just the right amount of contrast from it’s preceding track.

“The Silence, The Silence, The Silence” brings the second half of the album to attention and picks things back up a little bit after the slower paced “What You Starve.” It could be considered a throw away track, but it’s placement keeps the album cohesive. “Life and Debt” plays out as a bit of a lament as it drudges along in a minimal and simplistic way that allows the listener to overlook the song’s length considering it’s slower pace.

“Lovers in Death” brings about the “final act” of the album with it’s opening line stating “rock n roll never cost me a thing.” It is probably the most raw and gritty track on the entire album and has some serious Nirvana throwback vibes in my opinion. “Nervous Passenger” is the epitome of a deep track. Often times when a track like this gets put so close to the end of the album it tends to get overlooked by the casual listener, but could easily see this becoming a fan/crowd favorite when live shows are able to happen again.

The album closes out with “The Storm, The Storm, The Storm” which much like the album opener is perfect for it’s placement as they both serve as bookends. Lyrics are minimal on the track as only the same ten to fourteen words are actually spoken throughout the entire track’s duration of six minutes and forty-five seconds.

Overall, Give One, Take One is a remarkable collection of songs and a great addition to last year’s Love Is Ain’t Dead. It is very apparent that these songs are intended for the live setting and will easily transcend to that setting when the time comes. As we close out the first quarter of 2021 this album is definitely pretty high up as one of the best releases of the year so far.

Give One, Take One is available for streaming via Spotify, Bandcamp and Apple Music or visit their web-store to purchase a physical copy.

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-Phil Hawkins

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