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10 Years have released their fourth album, Minus The Machine on August 7th via their own label Palehorse Records. This time around, the Knoxville, TN band decided to self-produce the album at drummer/guitarist Brian Vodinh’s Kashmir Recordings allowing the band to escape the song-writing pressures of the label. Singer Jesse Hasek talked about the decision:

“Our true fans who buy the albums, not just the singles, understand that our singles, for the most part, misrepresent the entire album. As a band, we like to explore more and go a little left of center with song structures. We wanted to create an album that has no boundaries, and where we didn’t have to make every song ‘three minutes and 30 seconds’ for a label to approve it. There’s a fine line with that, of course, and we’re very aware of it. We all grew up on rock music, and as many albums as we’ve written, the way we’ve written them, it’s ingrained in us to work within a time frame that fits radio. There are definitely songs that work well for that, but as a whole, we wanted this album to represent a journey in a sense.”

As a long-time fan of 10 Years, my experiences with the band started in 2004 when I ordered my copy of Killing All that Holds You. That album was an incredible first impression for the band and remains in my playlist rotation to this day.  During various open-mic settings that year, Shane and I would add “Through the Iris” and “Wasteland” to our set list.  Before anyone knew them as radio hits a year later, the songs always drew an audience and received enthusiastic applause.  I attribute most of the positive response to the songwriting style and flare of 10 Years.  After all of this time, their songwriting abilities remain consistently strong.

 

One of the most admirable things about the band is how Jesse’s lyrics have a way of uncovering societal issues; themes of greed, truth, justice, corruption, and pain are frequently at the forefront. While everyone else is singing about sex and partying, 10 Years pushes the envelope and challenges your  perceptions of society.

Reality replays through strain and stride/ causing crashing waves to change the tide/ wash away the lies/ erase the space and time/ no emotions show a sign/ hold to life don’t flat line. The writing on the walls may be foreign to us all/ ’cause the casualties of war/ haven’t changed us much at all. I won’t let you bury me/ you’re not ready to bear the weight.

-Writing on the Walls

 

Minus the Machine showcases the  growth of the band, from the heaviest song “Knives”  to the piano and string interlude “Birth — Death“, and dynamic shifting songs like “Writing on the Walls” and “Tightrope“.  Rich with the signature vocal harmonies and crunchy guitar riffs, intermingled with solemn piano-laden tracks and atmospheric drums, this is a truly solid rock record,  and perhaps the best 10 Years album yet.  I’m thrilled to see the band break out of the major label restraints and absolutely re-energize their musical influence over the genre.  They are not to be overlooked.

 

Standout tracks: Minus The Machine, Writing On The Walls, and …And All The Other Colors.

 

 
Here’s the video for their current single ‘Backlash’:

 

 

http://www.facebook.com/10yearsmusic

http://tenyears.ras.bustores.com/

http://twitter.com/10years

 

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