Salvadore Ross is back with a new album, The Transfiguration of Salvadore Ross, on July 29th. Pre-order on vinyl, CD or digital is available at the Magnaphone store. All pre-orders come with an immediate download of the first single, Out of Time which is also available anywhere you can stream or purchase music!
Longtime friend, fan, collaborator and now label mate of Shrug, David Payne of The New Old-Fashioned reflects on the history of the band and gives a track by track rundown of the new album, Easy is the New Hard.
David Payne July 2, 2019
"Oh hey man! I haven't heard this in the live room yet." That's what Dayton producer Patrick Himes said to me as he held up a copy of Shrug's 2005 opus, Whole Hog For The Macho Jesus, which he had just recently produced. He then proceeded to play the album on an entire wall of speakers at the big box guitar store we were working for at the time. I've been a die hard Shrug fan ever since.
Fast Forward a decade or so later and I would find myself on stage playing most of The Rolling Stones' Sticky Fingers album along with Shrug as an encore to the release show for the long awaited Whole Hog follow up, Age of Ashes. A lot of those songs had already become some of my favorite Shrug songs, having been in their live set for various lengths of time. It was really great to finally have a studio recording of those songs and to get to be a part of the album's release.
Thankfully, the wait for a new Shrug album is much shorter this time around, and worth every single second! "Easy Is The New Hard," the 6th installment in Shrug's over 2 decade spanning discography is every bit as inspired and well executed as anything the band has ever recorded.
Here's a short breakdown of the album's 13 tracks, as I seem them.
Say Nothing - The first track on a Shrug record never fails to pull you in and set the mood and this defiant rocker does just that. You'll be finding yourself shouting along to the anthemic background vocals very soon.
Easy Is The New Hard - A little out of left field, the riff heavy title track lets you know early on that this isn't a seasoned band that's grown comfortable, but one that's keen on continuing to grow and explore new territory.
Halfway to Never - The guitar hero combo of Tod Weidner and Tim Pritchard is on full display on this one. Tim's beautiful melodic precision matched with Tod's reckless abandon has been an exciting addition to these two newest albums.
Her Majesty - Keyboardist Ken Hall's roll in the band has been growing steadily since his joining and his bar room piano really drives this song.
Powder - Shrug is what Dayton sounds like in my head. This one's a classic example of what I mean by that.
New Amsterdam - This sonic trip has actually been around for a little while and I've heard other versions before, but there is something very present about this particular recording. I can't help but hear it as a lullaby or a good-bye-for-now of sorts from Mr. Weidner as he starts his life away from the city and music scene he's come to define for so many of us.
Follow The Captain - A breezy nod to some of those psychedelic 60s influences.
My Little Raincloud - Another one taken from the archives that sounds just like it could've been written right alongside the rest of these songs. I can't help but think of former guitarist Eric Cassidy singing the harmony vocal on this one at some of my first live Shrug shows. I'm very happy this one found a proper home on this record.
South Side - I'll put this one up against any other song in the entire Shrug catalog. Tod's signature penchant for a wit filled turn of phrase and the most impassioned sing-along chorus help make this my personal example of a perfect rock and roll song.
Blue Blanket - Blue Blanket has been a centerpiece of Tod's solo sets for the past couple years and this trippy, reverb-laden, arrangement once again finds the band drifting into slightly less familiar territory that makes this record so interesting and dynamic.
Last Best Thing - I've got to admit another level of bias on this tune as The New Old-Fashioned was fortunate enough to get to add some background vocals. This ballad features Tod's signature acoustic guitar sound and drummer Dan Stahl and bass player Bryan Lakatos' subtle-but-funky, ever-so-slight, drag to the pocket that can only be executed well by a rhythm section that's grown so locked in together over the years.
Bender - One final song from Shrug's unreleased back catalog that gets a monstrous new arrangement and recording. The feel of this minor key narrative conjures up visions of a worn Midwesterner who finds himself in vast Western movie desert. The lyrics tell the tale of a seemingly lost and troubled individual, but it's the arrangement and production that really set the scene.
Heaven Hell or California - A more than fitting look toward Weidner's new West coast home. This track takes us out with an incredibly uplifting choral arrangement that will give you that feeling in your stomach that made you love music in the first place.
It is incredibly inspiring to me as a songwriter and musician that Shrug is still putting out such stellar new work at this point is the band's history. The songs sound as urgent and inspired as they ever have.
"Easy Is The New Hard" will be available on vinyl, CD, and all digital formats on July 6th via Magnaphone Records.
Big time news today in the Shrug camp. Our new album, Easy is the New Hard, is now available for pre-order on limited edition DOUBLE VINYL, CD and digital download. Pre-orders get you instant downloads of the two lead singles, the title-track and "South Side" (listen below as well). Visit the Magnaphone Records shop on BandCamp to preview and order https://shrug.bandcamp.com/album/easy-is-the-new-hard.
Additionally, we've just announced the album release party on July 6th at Yellow Cab Tavern. See the event page for all the details and to get your pre-sale tickets through Sound Valley. https://www.facebook.com/events/2202974206489442/
This one has been a long time coming and well worth the wait! our friends John Dubuc’s Guilty Pleasures finally join the Magnaphone fold with a big release party of their debut album, Where Have I Been All Your Life, this Sunday at Yellow Cab Tavern in Dayton, OH. The first single “In Love (and Going Nowhere) is out now on all streaming and download platforms including the Magnaphone store.
The band will host a unique “silent disco” listening party this Sunday from 3-7 pm at Yellow Cab which will include their album plus “Magnaphone Radio” with the latest music from all our artists.
Shrug has officially announced the long awaited double album Easy is the New Hard, to be released July 6, 2019! Details should be surfacing soon, but for now, enjoy the title track and first single everywhere you stream or purchase music including the Magnaphone store on Bandcamp.
Big congratulations to The Story Changes whose new album To hell with this Delicate Equation hit the Billboard Heatseakers Top 10 charts last week. The band had a great official release show in Dayton on Saturday along with MP mates Lioness, and the album continues to garner stellar reviews.
We want to wish The Story Changes a big congratulations on the release of To Hell with this Delicate Equation which is out everywhere today! You can pick it up anywhere you like to buy music including the official Magnaphone BandCamp Store and stream it from your service of choice. Vinyl and additional merch is available at The Story Changes official site. Spotify has featured 3 tracks on their official “New Punk Tracks” playlist! Stellar reviews continue to stream
There is a release and listening party tonight at Omega Music in Dayton, OH at 7:00 pm. Free pizza from Pizza Factory and free coffee from Press! The official release show will be May 11 at Yellow Cab Tavern in Dayton, OH with support from Magnaphone mates Lioness.
A big thanks to Outburn Magazine for debuting the video for “Shooting Stars” from the forthcoming release To Hell with this Delicate Equation by The Story Changes. It’s an epic, ‘80s battle of nerds vs punks at the roller rink, filmed in The Story Changes hometown just north of Dayton, OH with a bunch of friends including a few folks from the the Magnaphone fold. See if you can pick them out! Read all about it and see the video here. Big ups to the folks at Sound Valley for their great production work on this.