Hoarseman Shifts Focuses in “Annihilation”

Last month, Hoarseman discussed his new album with us – and at midnight, May 10th, Annihilation dropped.

The album was described to us as the “annihilation of everything political, environmental, and moral.” It is supposed to be the destruction of the high school version of Hoagland in spite of every attempt to hold on to that person.

All of this can be found in the music.

The album begins with a build up in “The Void” – lasting approximately a minute and a half, it only contains an instrumentals with no vox; this short bit is directly in contrast to the nearly eight-minute song that ends the album (“Harrison Burgeron”). The songs sandwiched between these two provide a range of emotions over a variety of topics.

Whether Hoarseman is bemoaning societal issues like in “Annihilation” or crooning about a relationship as he does in “She,” the emotions experienced jump from one to another. There’s frustration, sadness, anger, and a bit of apathy all wrapped in a twelve-song collection.

When we discussed the album, it was made clear that several of the songs were about a failing relationship. “Alive” seems to be one of them; the powerful question of “Isn’t this all you ever wanted? Isn’t this everything you asked for?” sounds like it could be someone asking their partner why they aren’t happy. However, after listening to the song several times, the meaning could double as the speaker’s confusion on his own unhappiness. It sounds like a story about someone chasing a dream and finding it wasn’t what was expected. All he wanted was this dream, and now he isn’t sure why he wanted it because it didn’t meet his expectations.

Several of the songs have a similar disposition of diverging interpretations. Previously released, “Millennial Whoop” has the surface meaning of a celebration of life, the “whoop” for youth, but the song contains the hidden story line of a burned out relationship. It’s a reflection of what went wrong, and it’s the hope that life will go on.

To put it simply, the album in its entirety is Hoarseman’s interpretation of life. Raw honesty is what reigns with special appearances from hopelessness and depression. The dance elements, upbeat moments, provide relief for the heavy topics, but the topics remain.

There’s so much to analyze. Each track is a new story, and there are twelve tracks. The melodies complement the lyrics, only adding to the analysis. Yet, at the end of it all, you just need to listen to the album. Let the music wash over you; make your own judgement. As Hoarseman insisted in the aforementioned interview, he wants people to interpret the music in their own way.

Make sure to check out Hoarseman on all social media and music streaming sites. Listen to Annihilation today:


Ben Quad discuss ‘Star Wars’ and future plans

The band, Ben Quad, was nice enough to allow me to ask them just a few questions about how they got started, and the future of the band. Ben Quad consists of Jacob Rhinehart (Bass Guitar, Vocals), Edgar Viverous (Lead Guitar), Sam Wegrynski (Rhythm Guitar) and Isaac Young (Drums).

Where did the name “Ben Quad” come from?

We really wanted to play Norman Music Festival but we needed to come up with a name to put on the application. We thought Ben Quadinaros from Star Wars would be a good meme so we went with that. If you didn’t know, Ben Quadinaros was a character in Episode I whose podracer blew up before he could compete in the big race. Failing before you could even get started. It’s kind of a nice metaphor for our little crybaby band. After a few shows, we noticed people couldn’t remember or spell our name right so we just shortened it to Ben Quad.

How did you come together as a band and when did this happen?

Edgar responded to Jacob’s craigslist ad. He and Isaac had already been jamming together for a while. Jacob asked Sammy Boi to join after schedule things didn’t work out for our first bassist, Ben (no relation). We had our first practice as a solid band probably around December 2017 and played our first show in January 2018.

Where are your biggest influences?

Probably Three Days Grace, Shinedown, and Disturbed. A lot of people at our shows ask if we listen to Algernon Cadwallader, Marietta, Modern Baseball, or this weird thing called “midwestern emo”. Never heard of it.

What is your songwriting process?

Edgar usually writes a riff and the rest of the gang adds on to it at practice. Vocals get written last as a tradition at this point               .

What is your favorite song you all have made?

The first song we ever wrote, “Too bad that didn’t kill me,” has grown on us a lot. I think we’ve really made the song our own. We’ve been playing a new one that might take over as our favorite though. No title yet.

Any plans to release any new music soon?

The magic of Ben Quad is that we have absolutely no idea.

Where does this “rivalry” with CLIFFDIVER originate from?

I think we hurt their feelings once with a meme. They send us a jab (tickle at best) every once and a while so of course we have to respond with our sauce.

What are some things you are really into right now? (Movies, TV show, restaurants, anything)

Hella Magic the Gathering. As far as food goes, we’re just waiting til we play in OKC on 5/17, so we can eat at Lee’s Sandwiches.

Anything you want to add?

Follow us on all social media at @benquadok. Listen to our stuff on all streaming platforms (Spotify, Apple Music, Pornhub, etc.). Don’t listen to the new Cliffdiver record when it comes out. It’ll probably suck and not blow your mind.